Due to poor production and shutdowns in one of the mines, the management of the Kreka Brown Coal Mine in Tuzla will send 30 percent of the workers on hold. The miners oppose it and will organize strikes and protests in Tuzla and Sarajevo, and they have also announced lawsuits.
More than 600 miners of Kreka should be sent home due to the reduction of business volume, so a strike of workers was announced for August 16th this year, and in the meantime a protest in front of the mine management in Tuzla and the headquarters of Elektroprivreda Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)in Sarajevo. It will not be their last step because lawsuits have been announced.
As stated in the explanation of the decision to terminate the work of miners, on July 14th this year, there was a temporary suspension of coal production in the organizational unit in Dubrave near Zivinice, due to which there was a decline in income, and according to the adopted document, workers on hold will receive 60 percent of the base salary. This decision was supposed to enter into force on August 1st this year, but its implementation has not yet begun.
The president of the Kreka Brown Coal Mine trade union, Zuhdija Tokic, explained that the agony in these mines has lasted for years now, and he sees the biggest culprits in the owner, ie the Public Company Elektroprivreda BiH.
“They have been managing the mines for years, pursuing a personnel policy in which they set suitable, not capable, obedient, not professional people, and now they were caught up in all of that. Nowadays in the mines, we do not have the basic means to work, and the main reason we can’t giving production is non-investment, which we have been talking about for years, ” Tokic emphasized.
The investment cycle of 158 million BAM, as much as Elektroprivreda BiH should have invested in Kreka by now, which operates in their concern, has not been realized. According to Tokic, the miners worked with improvisations in the past period, but that was brought to an end.
“Thanks to such working conditions, it is normal that you cannot reach the production as it should be to respect the collective agreement. The Kreka mines produced more than 79 thousand tons of coal last month, which is insufficient. The Dubrave mine did not produce at all, and no one wants to say that it happened because the company TTU Energetik, which is owned by Elektroprivreda BiH, was supposed to report the overhaul of the transport systems, but they broke all deadlines, ” said Tokic.
When it comes to the decision made by the Kreka management regarding the termination of employment for 30 percent of the workers, the interlocutor stated that there is no legal basis for that, which is why the miners who could be sent on hold will also file lawsuits.
“People are worried, this decision is sending them into uncertainty since the Kreka Mines have an average net salary of 1.082 BAM. More than 75 percent of workers are in debt, so they will be in a position that they may not be able to pay the loan installment,” Tokic added.
Kreka’s mines entered the concern of Elektroprivreda BiH in 2009 and then had 4.014 workers with a production per worker of 624.6 tons. This year, Kreka has 2.194 workers and 725 tons of coal per worker, Klix.ba reports.