Two of the three remaining coal mines of the OKD mining company already know the date when the miners will stop mining at the latest. While the ČSM mine will theoretically be able to work even after 2021, in the Darkov and ČSA mines the last coal will be mined either at the end of this year or in February 2021. This follows from a document discussed by the government and agreed by Prisko representatives. , OKD and Diamo together with the Ministries of Finance and Industry.
The material counts on three variants, but in the case of the Darkov and ČSA mines, only two are possible. Mining will either end at the end of this year, or two months later. In addition to the three variants, the document also mentions the two remaining options under development. However, the negotiating team rejected them. It is the immediate cessation of operations of all OKD mines at the end of June 2020 and the continuation of mining in the years 2025 to 2032.
According to OKD spokeswoman Nadi Chattová, it is impossible to predict how many employees will be affected by the closure of the Darkov and ČSA mines. “OKD moves its employees within individual locations according to operational needs, so the information would be misleading and no conclusions can be drawn from it,” Chattová explains, adding that the relocations do not relate to exceptional circumstances where hygiene is prohibited due to possible coronavirus spread.
In addition, the spokesman points out that the government has not yet decided on any of the options. “The end of mining at OKD is a strategic decision. Theoretically, it can decide outside the framework of the proposed scenarios, “she said.
Currently, about six thousand employees work in all OKD mines. The compromise scenario – ie the termination of mining in all mines next year – assumes that only 650 of them would have worked at OKD since the beginning of 2022. About 4,700 employees are expected to be laid off. For the other six hundred workers, it will be a natural termination of employment, for example by retirement or the expiry of a fixed-term employment relationship.
But the miners from OKD will not leave empty-handed. All employees are entitled to severance pay under the collective agreement. Some could lose up to eleven monthly salaries, depending on age, average wage and hours worked at OKD. In total, the material counts on a total severance pay of approximately 2.4 billion crowns.
In addition, employees would continue to receive a so-called social mitigation allowance. It should be in the units of a thousand and workers should take it for 35 months. Only these contributions will cost the state budget another 1.1 billion crowns.
If coal prices do not increase, mining at all mines should be stopped at the end of 2021 and at the ČSM mine by 2022 at the latest. The government is to decide on a more specific schedule in October. However, analysts believe that a more significant increase in hard coal prices cannot be expected, and thus consider longer-term mining unsustainable.