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    Polish Truckers’ Union Urges Government Intervention in Dispute with Ukrainian Competitors

    In a press conference held on Tuesday, the Union of International Road Hauliers (ZMPD), a Polish truckers’ union, urged the involvement of President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in resolving an ongoing dispute with Ukrainian competitors. The protest, initiated by drivers on November 6, has led to a blockade of four Polish-Ukrainian land border crossings — Dorohusk, Korczowa, Hrebenne, and Medyka — for over three weeks.

    The primary grievance of the protesting Polish hauliers centers around the demand for the reinstatement of commercial permits for Ukrainian companies transporting goods, excluding humanitarian aid and military equipment. Additionally, they seek the suspension of operating permits for Ukrainian haulage firms established post the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine. The drivers argue that Ukrainian companies, by paying significantly less to their truckers, enjoy lower operating costs, posing unfair competition to Polish firms.

    The ZMPD asserted that the dispute had escalated to a point where only high-level governmental intervention from both Poland and Ukraine could bring about a resolution. The union leaders emphasized their commitment to continuing the border protest until their objectives were met.

    Jan Ozygala, a representative of the protesting drivers, noted, “In the case of Dorohusk, we have permission to gather until February 1, 2024.”

    To address their concerns, the union leaders presented a list of seven demands to the infrastructure minister of the new Polish government, emphasizing the need for swift action.

    Meanwhile, opposition leader Donald Tusk, who aims to become Poland’s next prime minister, criticized the government’s perceived inactivity as “unforgivable.” Tusk expressed concerns about the potential strain on Polish-Ukrainian relations and the neglect of Polish interests. He disclosed plans for a meeting later on Tuesday with experts and politicians focused on addressing the ongoing issues, alluding to the formation of his proposed new government.

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