Miners in Velenje and Trbovlje Coal Mines on Strike


The decision came after a bank blocked RTH's accounts due to mounting debt, making it impossible for the company to pay the remaining 150-odd workers after 135 were laid off at the start of the year.

The miners also want the management and owners to consider the possibility of employing RTH workers in other state-owned companies, while also going over the possibility of retiring employees in danger of losing their jobs.

Meanwhile in Velenje, the biggest functioning coal mine in the country with an annual output of almost four million tonnes of lignite coal, miners will stage a two-hour token strike.

Pay is a part of their demands, though they only want full payment of the holiday allowance for last year, not just the statutory minimum prescribed by law.

However, the strike in Velenje is part of rising tensions in HSE, the biggest power utility in the country, which owns the coal mine as well as the Šoštanj thermal power plant that buys all the coal mined there.

Workers in Velenje insist that contracts with Šoštanj be renegotiated as the current coal price makes it impossible to break even or to raise the low wages of miners. The mine is said to owe more than EUR 15m to HSE.