Strike committee formed as pay dispute worsens at Poland's Orlen

20 March 2013 15:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A strike committee has been formed by trade unions at Polish oil and petrochemicals group PKN Orlen after company management did not respond positively to a pay ultimatum, the union representatives said on Wednesday.

Representatives of eight unions sitting on the committee would now discuss whether industrial action should be part of the unions' next move in their declared collective pay dispute with Orlen, they added.

The unions are protesting against a 2013 pay freeze announced by management.

Orlen was given an 18 March deadline by the unions to grant each employee a 2013 pay rise of zloty (Zl) 400 ($123, €96) and each entitled employee a one-off bonus of Zl 2,400.

However, Orlen responded by refusing to negotiate the pay freeze and stating that individual bonuses would not exceed approximately Zl 1,000.

Explaining its remuneration policy, Orlen said in a statement: “The management board is of the opinion that taking steps to increase PKN Orlen's efficiency and boost its competitive advantage will help it to continue growing in this difficult macroeconomic climate.

“This will also enable the company to maintain stable workforce numbers and ensure the stability of employee remuneration dependent on the company’s results, such as additional annual bonuses.”

The unions represent the vast majority of the Orlen company's 4,400 employees. Across the Orlen group as a whole, the workforce totals more than 22,000 employees.

($1 = Zl 3.24, €1 = Zl 4.17)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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