Labor unions at Poland's largest mining group Kompania Węglowa (KW) officially launched a collective labor dispute with the company on Monday. The unions are protesting against a company restructuring plan recently announced by the management board.
The 2014-2020 restructuring plan includes merging some of KW's mines and selling others. It also involves employment reduction and salary cuts.
By 2020, the mining giant wants to reduce its employment by over 16,000 employees. KW's management board claims that it doesn't plan to fire the miners and only people working in administration might get the pink slip.
The company plans to significantly reduce its workforce by ensuring that fewer people are hired than retire from their jobs in the coming years. It also plans to sell one of its mines to Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa.
Labor unions are demanding that the company maintain its current level of employment and raise salaries in accordance with inflation. The also want KW to keep its present structure and have all mines open until coal reserves are available. If the management fails to negotiate with them, they may consider some form of protest, possibly a strike.
KW now employs 57,000 people in 15 mines. In Q1-3 2013 the company recorded a net loss of almost zł.300 million.
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