Solidarity mining branch announces state of strike readiness

The Solidarity union's mining and energy branch has announced a state of strike readiness due to mounting threats to the country's energy and mining sectors, Jaroslaw Grzesik, head of the union's Mining and Energy Secretariat, stated on Saturday.

In a statement to PAP, the Secretariat said unionists were dissatisfied with to-date talks in a government-union team set to develop systemic solutions for the mining and energy sectors. On September 14, Solidarity and several other unions demanded talks with PM Mateusz Morawiecki on mining and energy reforms and announced protests if the talks failed to commence by September 21.

The main bone of contention is the government's National Energy Policy to 2040 plan and its endorsement of EU climate transformation goals. According to unions, the plan's deadlines for the abandonment of coal as an energy fuel are too short, which could lead to the closure of most Polish coalmines by 2036-37.

In a statement on Saturday, Solidarity's Mining and Energy Secretariat said the plan was unacceptable in its present form. It also warned that its implementation could result in the liquidation of most of the country's industry and the loss of millions of jobs in the energy, mining, chemical, cement and steel industries and their associated branches.

Referring to the EC's recently announced 2050 climate neutrality goal, the Secretariat observed that it stood in "glaring contradiction" to Morawiecki's recent claims that last year's EU Council summit had agreed to Poland adjusting to climate goals at its own pace.