WARSAW, Poland — Six coal mines in southern Poland have suspended work for one day to protest government plans to partially privatize their company.
Poland has been long dependent on coal for its energy, and during the communist era miners received relatively high wages and early retirement.
Now they fear their benefits are at risk as the country shuts down unproductive mines, privatizes some state companies and tries to use cleaner energy.
Shares of Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa, a state company running the six mines, will be offered on the Warsaw Stock Exchange June 30, though the government will keep a majority state.
Monday’s striking miners fear partial privatization will lead to the loss of some of the company’s 22,000 jobs. They are demand wage increases.