Coal Trade unions end 48-hour blockade

On Thursday morning, unions from Polska Grupa Górnicza (PGG) ended the blockade of rail shipments of coal from mines to power plants, which had begun two days earlier. The trains, already loaded with coal, are to be delivered to their recipients successively, according to the schedule, according to PGG.
The 48-hour blockade was the result of a wage dispute in the largest mining company. Trade unions are demanding compensation for the workforce for weekends worked from September to December and an increase in the average salary in the company. The parties have announced their next talks on Monday, but the unions have declared their readiness to negotiate also before that date.

The end of the blockade on Thursday was confirmed in an interview with PAP by the head of mining Solidarity, and the chairman of the union at PGG, Bogusław Hutek.

“About seven o’clock my colleagues left the tracks after another night there. There are no difficulties with shipping coal in any of the mines anymore,” he said. Several hundred trade unionists participated in the two-day protest.

Hutek confirmed that during the 48-hour blockade, trade unionists let several coal trains pass. This applied to situations where the lack of fuel would pose a risk of serious perturbations to the recipients – it was a soda factory, a sugar factory and a heat and power plant. The trade unions deny that their action would jeopardize Poland’s energy security.

The spokesman of Polska Grupa Górnicza, Tomasz Głogowski informed that some coal trains will leave the mines on Thursday, despite the day off.

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