Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – Annual fees paid by coal
mines to trade union representatives amount to PLN 40m (EUR 10.9m). It’s easy to
found a union, so new ones appear every now and then.
Eugeniusz Budniok, Business Centre Club deputy CEO,
who took part in negotiations with Kompania Weglowa coal group miners and helped
avoid strikes in 16 mines, believes that it’s high time to see how trade unions
in Poland operate.
“The law was written when the situation was
different. Protests at Budryk proved that old regulations disturb the sector,
employers and the region. It’s high time to change the law”, Eugeniusz Budniok
The protest at Budryk mine was organized by, among
others, a trade union founded on November 31st 2007 gathering as few as 15
“It’s absurd that everyone who attracts a group of
unhappy workers may found a union and cause strikes, stop production without
consulting and looking for consensus with the other trade unions. That’s why we
are going to propose to change the law. New trade unions could be founded only
if they comprised of at least 15-20 percent of the staff”, Piotr Duda, head of
Solidarnosc trade union in Silesia region said.
He does not support strike at Budryk but he offered
to help to solve the problem.
More things need changing. Today, there are no time
limits for heads of the unions. Besides, trade unionists may run business in the
mines, and they offer do so, i.e. they have tourist services, run cafeterias,
have stakes in security companies. This means that CEOs of the coal mines are
dependent on them very often.
“We are making analyzes to change the law”, Janusz
Olszowski, the CEO of the mining chamber of trade and industry admitted.
KHW coal group spends for trade unions nearly PLN
10m annually, JSW needs PLN 11m and KW PLN 20m. Coal mines cover costs of trade
union offices and trade unionists' wages.
(PLN 1 = EUR 0.275)