Appeal by the Strike Committee at Budryk Mine

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zaczek
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Dec 30 2007 23:06
Appeal by the Strike Committee at Budryk Mine

Dear Fellow- Workers and Comrades,
We would like to publish an appeal from the Strike Committee of the Budryk Mine.

The miners have been on strike since December 17th and have been spending their holidays in an occupation of the mine, often accompanied by family and friends. The situation in a nutshell is that, even though the mine is quite profitable and output per worker is twice the average in Poland, the wages there are the lowest in the industry. When the state decided that they wanted to merge this mine, which is state-owned, with the JSW group of mines, also state-owned, the workers where again reminded that their wages are lower than in the rest of JSW mines. They want to receive equal wages like the workers in the JSW mines.

The Board doesn’t want to negotiate with them. The situation has been going on for months. Now that the workers are on strike, they are not entitled to wages, so their families are being hit hard – not a nice present for the holidays. The strikers feel that the Board is intent on breaking the strike economically, therefore the Strike Committee decided to appeal for help.

Please spread this appeal. If you need any more information, would like to translate a solidarity letter into Polish or need help understanding the bank details, please contact warsaw@zsp.net.pl. Please put BUDRYK in the subject line.

ZSP Warsaw

Appeal from the Strike Committee of the Budryk Mine

A protest has been underway at the Budryk mine since December 13. Budryk belongs to the State Treasury. The protest started with a hunger strike by six mine workers and was meant to force the Board of the mine to start collective bargaining with the workers.

On December 14th the Board’s spokesman said in a television interview that the Board will not negotiate about pay increases with the workers unless a strike is started. With this, the Board gave a clear signal to the workers that calling a strike was the right way to start discussions.

At 6AM on December 17th the first shift at Budryk decided unanymously to start a strike.

The reason for the strike are the economic and social issues which make up the workers’ collective demands.

In the state strategy for the mining sector from 2007-2015, it was decided to merge Budryk into the structure of Jastrzebska Mining Company (Jastrzębskiej Spółki Węglowej S.A – (JSW)). The workers were presented with a draft agreement with the Board of JSW which would form the basis of the merger. The workers of Budryk overwhelming rejected this proposal twice in referenda because of the proposed conditions of the agreement. Despite this, the Board of Budryk did not want to bargain, which is not in accordance with the law. This escalated the tension at the mine and led to the strike.

The owner of Budryk - the State Treasury - wants Budryk to be merged with JSW but with conditions which are not acceptable to the Budryk workers. They propose that the wages in Budryk will be the lowest of all the mines in the JSW structure, even lower than at the mines which (through no fault of the workers) are not profitable. The workers of Budryk demand equal treatment for all the workers of JSW and do not understand how they can be denied this.

Thanks to the independent media, the protest of the Budryk workers was presented to the public and it was shown that the miners just wanted to be treated equally.

Budryk made 45 million zloties profit in the first three quarters of this year. (12.5 million euros) This makes it the third best mine in Poland. However, the miners at Budryk have the lowest wages in the whole sector, despite a 100% increase in work efficiency. In Budryk each worker produces 1400 tons of coal a year, which is twice as much as the average which is 700 tons a year.) Such arguments make no impression of the management of either company which means that the strike goes on and the State Treasury is exposed to enormous losses.

We demand an increase in the average wage to the average level of wages in JSW. The workers deserve these wage increase especially due to health and safety risks of the work.
We appeal to all miners and good-willed people to support our protest. We also ask for financial help for the miners since the management is trying to force the workers to abandon the strike by putting off talks and putting an economic strain on the workers.

Budryk is the first mine that was built in an independent Poland. There is a modern workforce there of 2430 people. Budryk has been profitable for many years. In the first 9 months of 2007, the mine had 45 million zloties profit which makes it one of the best mines in the country. However we are not treated on par with others in our branch.

The Board has been avoiding talks with us for over 3 months. It has been trying to dvide the workers and divert public attention for the economic demands of the workers. Every day of the strike is costly for the workers and their families since all strike days are unpaid. This is a big problem for the families of striking miners and may even threaten to force them to end the strike before any agreement is reached. The Strike Committee unanymously decided to appeal to other miners and good-willed people for support. All financial help not only help the families of the striking workers but will allow them to continue the strike.

Komitet Strajkowy podjął jednogłośną decyzję o zwróceniu się do górników i ludzi dobrej woli w Polsce z Apelem o finansowe wsparcie, które pozwoli wspomóc rodziny strajkujących, a tym samym nie dopuści do załamania się trwającego strajku.

The Strike Committee state that all miners should receive the same average pay since they all work in equally dangerous conditions. As workers of a state-owned mine, we shouldn’t be paid only by output because output often depends on some natural geological conditions.

In defense of our mine and the decent lives of our families, the workers spent Christmas Eve and Christmas at the mine where we will also spend New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. In order that we all live better in the future.

We appeal for support so that we can reach an agreement which will be an agreement for all miners in Poland, Please don’t allow our strike to end in defeat.

We won’t give up but maybe our families and children, without money to live can. If they break us today, tomorrow they can break you.

To support the families of striking miners, please make payments to the Ornotowice branch of the Oresko-Knurowski Bank Spółdzieczy. (in Polish: Orzesko-Knurowski Bank Spółdzielczy oddział Ornontowice) The account number (konto) is 23 8454 1053 2001 1053 0041 5426 0001. Write that it is for the Fund for the Families of Budryk Miners. (in Polish : Fundusz pomocy dla rodzin strajkujących górników Budryka. )

Strike Committee of KWK BudrykOrnontowice, December 29 2007

http://cia.bzzz.net/appeal_by_the_strike_committee_at_budryk_mine

David in Atlanta
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Joined: 21-04-06
Jan 2 2008 17:10

Send a Protest Letter in Support of Budryk Miners!
Czytelnik CIA, Wto, 2008-01-01 11:33 English

Budryk Miners have been on strike since Dec. 17th. Click here for more information and a translation of the miners' appeal.

The miners are fighting for equal pay. Their state-owned mine is going to be merged with a larger state-owned group, JSW, the largest coal producer in Europe. Despite the fact that the Budryk workers are extremely efficient, they found out their salaries would be up to 200 euros less a month than their colleagues at JSW.

The Board at Budryk announced on New Year's Day that it sent a letter to the state security agency and the prosecutor's office about the strikers. They claim that the strikers are causing financial losses for the state treasury and have committed "crimes" during the strike.

Please show your solidarity with the striking miners by sending a solidarity letter. Here are some sample letters:

Choose one or write your own! Send to different recipients. Send copies to warsaw@zsp.net.pl

TO THE MINISTRY OF ECONOMY

LETTER ONE

To Waldemar Pawlak, Minister of Economy
pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/5, 00-507 Warszawa
mail@pawlak.pl
Online: http://www.mg.gov.pl/English/Email/
CC to: kp-psl@sejm.pl
fax (24) 235-24-22
CC to: fax.: (022) 694 17 73

We are writing in support of the demands of the miners from Budryk to receive pay equal to the miners from JSW EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! There is no justification for such pay discrimination.

*

LETTER TWO

To Waldemar Pawlak, Minister of Economy
pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/5, 00-507 Warszawa
mail@pawlak.pl
Online: http://www.mg.gov.pl/English/Email/
CC to: kp-psl@sejm.pl
fax (24) 235-24-22
CC to: fax.: (022) 694 17 73

We have read about the case of the striking Budryk miners and totally support their demands for equal pay. Their wages must be increased immediately as such discrimination is a clear violation of their rights to equal pay for their job.

*
LETTER THREE

To Waldemar Pawlak, Minister of Economy
pl. Trzech Krzyży 3/5, 00-507 Warszawa
mail@pawlak.pl
Online: http://www.mg.gov.pl/English/Email/
CC to: kp-psl@sejm.pl
fax (24) 235-24-22
CC to: fax.: (022) 694 17 73

We are writing in solidarity with the workers who have been on strike at the Budryk mine since Dec. 17th. All workers deserve equal wages for equal work; this is usually guaranteed in all European countries. Therefore, their demands are totally justified.

We demand that this discrimination be ended immediately.

***
TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE

Letter one

Jan Bury
Secretary of State
fax /+48 22/ 628-88-69
sek.ssjb@msp.gov.pl

We are writing in solidarity with the workers who have been on strike at the Budryk mine since Dec. 17th. All workers deserve equal wages for equal work; this is usually guaranteed in all European countries. Therefore, their demands are totally justified.

We demand that this discrimination be ended immediately.

*
Letter Two

Jan Bury
Secretary of State
fax /+48 22/ 628-88-69
sek.ssjb@msp.gov.pl

We are writing in support of the demands of the Budryk miners. They deserve equal pay to their colleagues in JSW!

*
To the Minister of the State Treasury

Aleksander Grad
fax /+48 22/ 628-19-14
minister@msp.gov.pl

We are writing in solidarity with the workers who have been on strike at the Budryk mine since Dec. 17th. All workers deserve equal wages for equal work; this is usually guaranteed in all European countries. Therefore, their demands are totally justified.

We demand that this discrimination be ended immediately.

*
To Mining Bureacrats

Mining Department
Director - Aleksandra Magaczewska
fax (+ 48 22) 693-40-32

We are writing in solidarity with the workers who have been on strike at the Budryk mine since Dec. 17th. All workers deserve equal wages for equal work; this is usually guaranteed in all European countries. Therefore, their demands are totally justified.

We demand that this discrimination be ended immediately.

*
To Budryk

KWK Budryk S.A.
43-178 Ornontowice
skrytka pocztowa 29
ul. Zamkowa 10
fax. (032) 235-51-17

We are writing in solidarity with the workers who have been on strike at the Budryk mine since Dec. 17th. All workers deserve equal wages for equal work; this is usually guaranteed in all European countries. Therefore, their demands are totally justified.

We demand that this discrimination be ended immediately.

*
To JSW

Letter One

Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa S.A.
ul. Armii Krajowej 56
44-330 Jastrzębie Zdrój
Fax: 032 47 62 671
e-mail: jsw@jsw.pl

We are writing in solidarity with the workers who have been on strike at the Budryk mine since Dec. 17th. All workers deserve equal wages for equal work; this is usually guaranteed in all European countries. Therefore, their demands are totally justified.

We demand that this discrimination be ended immediately.

*
Letter Two

Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa S.A.
ul. Armii Krajowej 56
44-330 Jastrzębie Zdrój
Fax: 032 47 62 671
e-mail: jsw@jsw.pl

We are writing in support of the demands of the miners from Budryk to receive pay equal to the miners from JSW EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! There is no justification for such pay discrimination.

akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Jan 4 2008 02:54

The Board is threatening the strikers with arrest. A threatening letter was apparently sent by the management. The management has the support of Minister Pawlak who has joined in criticizing the miners and claiming that the company has "done everything it could" and trying to convince people that the strike is lead by only a few crazies.

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Jan 4 2008 03:05

WSA has sent out the email protests and stands in solidarity with the miners.

Strongly urge all other anarcho-syndicalists, wobblies, independents on libcom to do the same.

David in Atlanta
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Joined: 21-04-06
Jan 4 2008 16:05

Sent messages from Capital Terminus Collective. Mail to mail@pawlak.pl bounced.

akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Jan 7 2008 16:42

We have to try to get new mails. We think that they may have put a filter on that mail because of the campaign.