Striking miners return to work

The striking miners from the Budryk mine in Jastrzebia-Zdroj, Lower Silesia have finally agreed to go back to work after their union representatives came to an agreement with their employers. The radio station RMF FM has estimated that the 46-day strike over pay conditions could cost the Jastrzebia Mining Company as much as 80 mln zloty.

During what turned out to be a particularly bitter strike, a group of 30 hunger strikers barricaded themselves underground while others occupied the mine buildings above. Under the terms of the deal struck between the unions and employers, the miners will receive a 10 percent wage increase and a one-off payment of 1,500 zloty after tax. In addition, a special commission has been appointed to look in to leveling out the pay structures at the various mines in the region so that all miners will be compensated at the same rate irrespective of where they work. The commission, which will contain a union representative, should be able to ensure that the salaries of the Jastrzebia miners will fall in line with their colleagues in other mines by 2010.

The union representatives were anxious to stress that not all their demands had been met, but, even so, there was a collective sigh of relief from both sides in the dispute as the miners went back to work. It took three days before safety procedures necessary for extraction to resume had been implemented.

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