The Solidarity trade union blocked the streets of Warsaw today. Employees of state owned energy producers are concerned about the future of their professions. They are complaining about the lack of dialogue in the fuel and energy sector, especially in the energy and lignite industries. They are motivated by violations of labor and trade union rights, the fear of losing a large number of jobs due to the transformation of the entire energy sector, and the expectation that EU policy will bring an end to Poland’s energy sovereignty and increase energy costs.
The demonstration began at świętokrzyska street in front of the headquarters of the European Commission representation, where the heads of the largest trade union centers in Poland took the floor. Trade unions do not like the fact that Poland is closing its mines under pressure from the EU, while other countries continue to earn much from coal.
“This situation is unacceptable. Thats why this is a warning to the European Commision – Hands off the Polish economy, the Polish worker; we live in a country, a republic, we are not a colony of the German state.” stated Piotr Duda, the chairman of the Solidarity trade union.
“Let the government sit down and start negotiations, if they don’t then hundreds of thousands of people will end up on the streets. We demand a social agreement, we demand a discussion.” added the deputy chairman of OPZZ, Barbara Popielarz.
At the end of the rally at the intersection of Jasna and Świętokrzyska Streets, a delegation of trade unionists submitted a petition to the European Commission to stop the judgment of the European Court ordering the liquidation of the mine in Turów.
The protesters then passed before the Ministry of State Assets and Development.
After the meeting with the demonstrating trade unionists, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin declared that the changes would not be introduced without dialogue and social agreement. The protest ended in front of the Primeminister‘ s Office, where the demands were filed.