Polish Coal Miners Ready for General Strike Over Restructuring Planadmin
More than half of Poland’s coal miners support a full-scale strike to protest restructuring plans, union leaders said Friday, despite warnings from the government the move would be a costly mistake.
More than 62 percent of Poland’s 120,000 miners participated in a trade union vote Thursday and the overwhelming majority supported staging a 24-hour stoppage next week, followed by a full strike starting in February, said Dominik Kolorz, a union leader in the southern mining city of Katowice.
The miners are demanding that Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s government sit down with them for talks, but there is no indication Warsaw will do so.
The government’s restructuring plans call for tying earnings to profitability and allowing privatization of individual mines.
Union leaders contend that the plans would endanger jobs and cut earnings, eventually resulting in mines being closed.
Deputy Economy Minister Pawel Poncyliusz said Thursday the restructuring is aimed at keeping the struggling industry afloat, and that the unions’ strike plans were illegal.