[Ferro-Alloys.com] The Polish government and mining trade unions failed to agree on a plan to overhaul the country's thermal coal sector, which faces financial collapse because of huge stocks and weak power-sector demand.
The government was unable to formally propose its provisional plan to downsize Poland's largest producer state-owned Polska Grupa Gornicza (PGG), because of fierce opposition from trade unions during a tense meeting in Katowice, union representatives said.
According to leaked reports — confirmed by unions — PGG and the government wanted to propose shutting two of the producer's eight thermal coal mines and one of three operated by utility Tauron, in a bid to cut costs. Such a plan would reduce PGG's capacity by around 20pc or 5mn t/yr and cut Tauron's capacity by around a third or 1.5mn t/yr. The proposals also include wage and benefits cuts, but offer PGG and redundant miners access to Polish and EU support funds.
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