Miners of the Subsidiary Company of the Zenica Coal Mines Zenica started a labor strike this morning and did not go down to the pits, confirmed to FENA the union president Elvedin Avdić.
“The miners did not receive a salary for October and a meal allowance for September. The salary is paid by the 15th of the month, but we have not received the salaries yet, so the miners of the first shift did not go down to the pits this morning,” said Avdić.
The Zenič mine, he adds, employs around 930 workers. Coal is produced in the “Raspotočje” and “Stara jama” pits.
Finding a balance between the demands of the miners and the interests of the citizens of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and finding a solution that will not call into question the supply of electricity to citizens or result in a price increase was the focus of the meeting between the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Fadil Novalić, Minister of Energy, Mining and Industry Nermin Đindić and the director of Elektroprivreda BiH Admir Andelija today.
The reason for the meeting was the new collective agreement for miners and the announcement of a strike at the Kreka coal mine.
Director of Elektroprivreda BiH Andelija points out that the new text of the collective agreement respects the miners’ key demands regarding an increase in hourly wages and meal allowance, but the unions refuse to introduce work performance evaluation, which can lead to variations in the amount of wages depending on fulfillment plan.
“Taking into account the trend of falling short of the norm in production, I want to clearly emphasize that performing the evaluation protects the interests of all citizens of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who, if it is not adopted, will pay the price of electricity 40 percent more expensive than the current one, which is the cheapest in the region. I also want to stress that the trade unions have undertaken to introduce the evaluation of work performance as early as 2021, which has not yet been fulfilled,” explains Andelija.
When it comes to the announcement of a strike at the Kreka coal mine due to the blocking of the bank account and the questionable payment of the October salary, the Minister of Energy, Mining and Industry Đindić points out that this is the result of court rulings regarding the lawsuits by workers for the payment of pension insurance contributions.
“Lawsuits are counterproductive because they make work more difficult, and Elektroprivreda BiH has already committed to binding past work service of each worker as he acquires the conditions for a pension. So far, with the help of the FBiH Government, binding past work service for 10,000 workers have been approved,” explains Džindić and adds that the Ministry will monitor the activities carried out by Elektroprivrede BiH and provide the necessary assistance to resolve these two issues in the best possible way for both the miners and the citizens of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.