Polish railway workers threaten strike action
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish State Railways' (PKP) cargo transport workers have voted in favour of a strike if their demands are not met over the state-backed company's impending privatisation.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/public domain
This autumn, PKP aims to sell up to a 50 percent stake in PKP Cargo, which is the second largest cargo carrier in the EU.
However, workers want assurances that wages will be increased by an average of 450 zl per person (106 euro), that pending bonuses will be honoured, and that employees will have job security for a minimum of six years.
PKP argues that the increases in wages are unrealistic, given that the overall figure would amount to 250 million zloty per year (58.8 million euro), roughly equivalent to what the company earned last year.
Nevertheless, now that the referendum has been taken, the results are binding. Some 64.99 percent of those employed by PKP Cargo took part in the vote, and from this proportion, over 96 percent backed a strike in relation to their three principal demands.
In November 2012, PKP Group outlined plans to sell off subsidiary companies such as PKP Cargo, in a bid to cover debts to the level of 4.3 billion zloty (1 billion euro).
PKP aimed to whittle its companies down from twenty to five by 2015.
The first sale to go through was that of its cable-car wing Polish Cable Lines (PKL), in May 2013. (nh)