Protesting miners sign deal with government

The strike committee established by the unions functioning in the mining region of Upper Silesia have signed an agreement with the government over the terms and pace of transformation of the Polish mining industry.

According to the agreement, the last coal mine will be shut down in 2049. Up until that time, mines will be subsidised by the state.

The negotiations started last Tuesday. The head of the government delegation, deputy State Assets Minister and government commissioner for the transformation of energy companies and the mining industry, Artur Soboń, said that the agreement sets a model of a “fair, just path towards the transformation of the Polish mining and energy industries.”

The head of the Silesia-Dąbrowa Górnicza unit of the “Solidarity” trade union, Dominik Kolorz, assessed the deal as “positive”, at the same time noted that it, in fact, does foresee the liquidation of the Polish mining industry. “We have signed the closure of one of the most important branches of industry in the history of the Republic of Poland,” he said.

Both sides had earlier agreed that the transformation is inevitable, yet must be spread over a long period of time.

The agreement ends the underground strikes which started on Monday in the mines of the Polish Mining Group in Upper Silesia.