Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – Today, the results of the
referendum in Kompania Weglowa coal group will show whether the miners will go
on strike next week. If so, the results of the sector, which are already very
poor, will get even worse.
All trade unions present at Kompania Weglowa (KW),
Poland’s biggest coal group, demand wage increases. Yesterday, in all 17 mines
of KW group, referendum was being conducted concerning the wages. Today, the
results will be known. Miners may decide that on December 17th, they go on
strike. If all mines are closed, 190,000 tons of coal less will be produced and
sales will drop by PLN 35m (EUR 9.8m). In previous referendums, 90 percent of
miners voted for strike. Trade unions want 6.9 percent wage increase in December
and 14 percent increase next year. Zbigniew Madej, KW spokesman, said that the
company cannot pay any more this year. Grzegorz Pawlaszek, KW CEO, said earlier
this month that over 63,000 of KW employees may get 10 percent wage increase
Management of another coal group, Jastrzebska
Spolka Weglowa (JSW) was also negotiating with trade unions yesterday.
“We expect 11 percent wage increase this year.
Management agreed for 8 percent. It will turn out today if we reach agreement.
Then we will decide what to do next”, Andrzej Ciok from Solidarność trade union
Jaroslaw Zagorowski, JSW CEO, believes that he
cannot offer more than 8 percent increase. In Katowicki Holding Weglowy (KHW),
negotiations are going on between the management and employers.
Janusz Olszowski, CEO of the Mining Chamber of
Trade and Industry believes that miners deserve higher wages but they should
respond to their companies’ results. In the first 10 months of this year, the
net income of the mining sector was PLN 351.2m lower than a year ago and
amounted to PLN 161.9m. Debts of the companies exceeded PLN 6bn while production
fell by 5.6m tons. Remuneration rose by PLN 16.8m to PLN 6.1bn while 3,230
people left the mines. Wages constituted 46 percent of production costs.
(PLN 1 = EUR 0.280)