21 January, 2015January has seen 2,000 miners in Poland protesting against government plans to close a number of mines in the country. On 17 January, a framework agreement was reached between the trade unions and the government, putting an end to the protests.
After 11 days of protests, Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and representatives from all trade unions in the mining sector signed the framework agreement. It guarantees the involvement of the energy sector in restructuring the mining sector, the transfer of four mines to a mine restructuring company, as well as the possibility of selling the mines to investors.
The agreement also opens for talks on a new collective bargaining agreement for the mining sector, state aid for energy-intensive industries and the reindustrialization program for the Silesia and Malopolska Region. There will also be negotiations on the future of Polish industry and jobs.
Social dialogue between the government and the trade unions will continue.
Dariusz Trzcionka, President of IndustriALL affiliate KADRA said:
“The success of the negotiations would not have been possible without the support and solidarity of workers, residents, local governments, European and international trade unions, IndustriALL and the Polish trade unions. We thank you for supporting the miners in these difficult times!"
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said on the agreement:
“I wanted to thank you for a good, healthy compromise. Good is not for us, but for the future of Polish mining.”