CEO of Bulgaria's Maritsa Iztok Mines Declares Strike Illegal

Business | January 15, 2012, Sunday // 15:20|  views

The CEO of Bulgaria's State-ownedMaritsa Iztok Mines, Evgeni Stoykov. Photo by

Evgeni Stoykov, CEO of Bulgaria's Maritsa Iztok Mines issued Sunday a special address to miners, alerting them that their planned effective strike is illegal.

In the declaration, he states that he is valuing highly the effort to execute and exceed production tasks for 2011, stressing that during talks with the labor unions, the management of the mines had voiced readiness to pay additional compensations to those directly involved in production, who have contributed the most for the good results.

Earlier Sunday, the miners at Bulgaria's State-owned Maritsa Iztok Mines announced they are launching an effective strike at 8 pm the same day.

In response, Stoykov says that for the fourth quarter of 2011, 10.35% in compensations, calculated in the base of the net quarterly wage, will be paid with the December salary, insisting that it is impossible for the company to fulfill any additional requests, warning this would lead to an aggravated financial and economic situation. He assures the management had applied all effort to declare good intentions and is ready to continue negotiations.

"I am convinced that you all know that the legality of the planned strike is doubtful, and is being challenged in Court. If the latter declares the strike illegal, all participants will endure disciplinary and monetary responsibility. According to the law, at times of strike, the employer does not pay wages. I appeal to your common sense to manage, through joint effort, to resolve the issue, without threatening the future of the Maritsa Iztok mines," the declaration concludes.

The effective strike is planned for all there mines.

On Saturday the miners launched a symbolic protest, warning that effective strike was in store, after talks failed Friday - workers just signed upon going to work that they support the future strike and are against what they have labeled "the irresponsible behavior of the company's management."

About four thousand miners and administration employees have joined the strike action, supported by Bulgaria's two main trade unions.

The main subject of argument is a better payment, and in particular a request for a cash bonus workers were promised in the summer.

The argument between the management of Maritsa Iztok Mines AD and the syndicates at the state-owned company has been going on for a month, but the talks have failed to bring a resolution.

The trade unions insist that the employer comply with the agreement signed on July 12, 2011 regulating the relative share of the wage costs in relation to the company's revenues.

They claim Stoykov had withdrown his signature from the document despite the anticipated BGN 500 M in revenues of the company, thereby leaving the miners without year-end bonuses.

The management of Maritza Iztok Mines AD, however, has said that it has fulfilled all of its commitments under the agreement.

Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov sided with the company's governing body, falsely claiming that the miners were better paid than the Finance Minister.

Asked to comment on the matter, Energy Minister Traicho Traikov noted that he appreciated the work of the miners, who had doubled the output of the company, but added that the 15% pay rise they had been given had been an adequate reward.

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Tags: Maritsa Iztok, mines, miners, Strike, syndicates, trade unions, Boyko Borisov, Traicho Traikov, coal, effective strike, Strike, KNSB, Evgeny Stoykov, illegal


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