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Poland rail workers set to strike over cuts in retired staff travel concessions

 

Railway strike set for Friday
 23.01.2013 10:44  from: http://www.thenews.pl/1/12/Artykul/124976,Railway-strike-set-for-Friday

Railway workers in Poland are set to hold a nationwide two-hour strike on Friday in protest against cuts to benefits.
 

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The matter concerns rail travel discounts for retired railway workers, and affects some 100,000 pensioners.
 
Polish State Railways (PKP) believes that it can save 27 million zloty (6.49 million euro) per year through the abolition of the old system.
 
Negotiations have lasted several weeks, but railway trade unions argue that Polish State Railways (PKP) have no desire to reach an acceptable agreement.
 
“We met up with the employers on January 15 and they asked us to postpone the meeting until January 25,” commented Leszek Mietek, chairman of the Confederation of Railway Trade Unions, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“They said that they wanted more time so to be better prepared. Meanwhile, it turned out that they were using the time to present employees with statements to sign about buying discounts under terms established by the employers,” he said.
 
Mietek noted that a referendum showed that 95 percent of railway workers backed a strike if the retirement benefit system is altered.
 
Meanwhile, chairman of PKP Jakub Karnowski holds the unions at fault for the collapse of the talks.
 
“It's very bad that the unions broke off the talks,” he said.
 
“We hope that the strike threat will not be realised, because we can all see what the weather is like, and the proposed date of launching the action is especially troublesome for passengers,” he added.
 
The strike itself, which is being touted as a preliminary measure, is due to take place between 7 and 9 am on Friday. (nh)

 

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