Coal and taxes

Coal and taxes

According to the Dziennik Zachodni daily, on February 21, 2020 the trade unionists of the Polish Mining Group agreed on an increase with the government. Even at the beginning of the negotiations, which took place on 20 February, in the Voivodeship Office in Katowice, the trade unionists from the Polish Mining Group were rather sceptical about the course of talks. All the more so because for the last few months the PGG board has been repeating like a mantra that the companies cannot afford to meet the mining demands – especially those concerning 12% increases.

Barbara Oksińska from the Rzeczpospolita daily cites that the increases for over 41 thousand employees will cost the mining company about 260 million PLN. The agreement was signed on Thursday in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State assets Jacek Sasin. It assumes a 6% increase in wages from 1 January 2020 and a return to wage negotiations in September. In addition, the parties agreed to take action to limit the import of hard coal to Poland and to speed up the export of hard coal reserves accumulated in warehouses near mines.

As a result of the agreement, the miners suspended the protest action. This means that they will not hold a strike referendum and demonstration in Warsaw, planned for 28 February. At the same time, it was agreed that by 21 April there will be a meeting of representatives of the Ministry of State Assets with representatives of trade unions’ headquarters on systemic solutions in the hard coal and energy sectors.

The Rzeczpospolita daily cites Adam Gawęda, Deputy Minister of State Assets,’s earlier words that PGG generated PLN 86m in profit in 2019, but that as a result of the write-down of assets it closed the previous year with an accounting loss. The Polish Press Agency’s loss was PLN 427 million. PGG’s CEO Tomasz Rogala argued on Feb 6 on Parkiet TV channel that the companies cannot afford to raise their salaries.
In 2018, the average gross salary in PGG was 7.42 thousand PLN. The company does not provide data for 2019.

The BBC, on the other hand, informs about the report commissioned by JP Morgan, which the editorial team has arrived at. JP Morgan is the world’s largest investment bank financing fossil fuel companies.

Human life “as we know it” could be threatened by climate change, economists at JP Morgan have warned. In a hard-hitting report to clients, the economists said that without action being taken there could be “catastrophic outcomes”. The bank said the research came from a team that was “wholly independent from the company as a whole”. Climate campaigners have previously criticised JP Morgan for its investments in fossil fuels. The firm’s stark report was sent to clients and seen by BBC News.

The polish portal Virtual media  ( adds:
<<JP Morgan says that climate change “reflects a global market failure in the sense that producers and consumers of CO2 emissions are not paying for the climate damage that has occurred. To reverse this, the bank stresses the need for a global carbon tax, but warns that “it will not happen in the near future” due to concerns about employment and competitiveness. The authors argue that “the climate situation is likely to continue to deteriorate, perhaps more than in any IPCC scenario”. The authors of the JP Morgan report stress that changes must take place at the micro level, which involves changes in the behaviour of individuals, companies and investors, but this is unlikely to happen without the involvement of tax and financial authorities. Last year, a study for “The Guardian” by Rainforest Action Network, a US environmental organisation, showed that JP Morgan was one of 33 powerful financial institutions that delivered about $1.9 billion to the fossil fuel sector between 2016 and 2018.>>

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