- Safety and a guarantee of employment and pay for our Crew is the priority of the entire JSW Management Board. That is why there will be 3.4% raises for all employees as of July 2021. These are the maximum increases that JSW can afford today. We have also extended the employment guarantee for the Crew by 10 years," emphasizes Barbara Piontek. - We are also in talks with the JSW trade unions. You can't say that we don't have a dialog," she stresses.
SOCIAL DIALOG AND CARE FOR EMPLOYEES
As an example, on 31 March 2021, a meeting was held between representatives of the new JSW Management Board and Representative Trade Union Organizations on the extension of employment guarantees. On the initiative of the JSW Management Board, the parties signed an agreement providing the Company's employees with employment guarantees for 10 years, despite the fact that the Representative Trade Union Organizations initially requested that they be extended only by 5 years. The content of the agreement was analogous to that previously in force.
As part of the social dialog, JSW has tried to introduce a new quality in the contacts with the trade unions, which has not been seen in the Company’s history. On 5 May 2021, the first such meeting was held, to which all 64 trade union organizations operating in JSW were invited. The topic was the proposal, initiated by the Company President, Barbara Piontek, on shaping the remuneration and bonus system for the coming years. The proposals were discussed with all trade unions. The Company has set up a special email address for the unions to submit comments and proposals. Another meeting with all trade unions on this issue was held on 7 June 2021. Since some changes were suggested, new drafts of the salary agreement were presented and another meeting was set for 7 July 2021.
THE 2020 AGREEMENT - REVISION OF THE DOCUMENT
JSW also held, among others, 5 meetings with Representative Trade Union Organizations devoted to the subject of the 2020 agreement, concerning, among other things, the 4% increase in employee wages demanded by the trade unions. On 15 June 2021, JSW S.A. presented to the Representative Trade Union Organizations the results of the legal report on the 2020 Agreement, which indicates that there are reasonable grounds to argue that the Agreement has not been concluded. At a meeting with the Representative Trade Union Organizations on 15 June, at which the positions were upheld, the parties signed a discrepancy report and requested the Minister of State Assets to appoint a mediator.
This means that the social dialog is still going on, but now has moved on to stage II, which is mediation.
Having justified doubts regarding the credibility of the Agreement regarding, among others, the 4% increase in employee salaries, the JSW S.A. Management Board, in accordance with its announcements, on 16 April 2021 appointed a Work Force to clarify the legal and factual circumstances regarding the Agreement between JSW S.A. and Representative Trade Union Organizations on salary increases in 2020.
The task force consisting of, among others, legal advisors and attorneys from three different law firms, analyzing the facts, has determined that the Agreement could only be a draft document and has no legal effect.
The task force recommended that JSW S.A. apply to a Common Court to ascertain that the Agreement is nonexistent in order to obtain an unambiguous confirmation of the legal nature of the document and the resulting effects.
“Implementation, by the JSW S.A. Management Board, of the Agreement and the resulting financial expectations formulated by the Representative Trade Union Organizations - without an unambiguous and objective clarification of the existence and legal effectiveness of the Agreement - which in the circumstances of the case can only be done by an independent and autonomous Common Court with the appropriate instruments at its disposal - carries a significant risk of criminal liability for the Management Board" - reads the recommendation.
With reference to these recommendations, the JSW S.A. Management Board is considering a decision to refer the matter to a competent court for clarification.
JSW strives to build a responsible dialog with the social side. The JSW Group has implemented the necessary Cost-Saving Program, but as the JSW S.A. President, Barbara Piontek, has stressed on many occasions, the salaries and jobs of JSW employees are absolutely unthreatened. The JSW S.A. Management Board, as part of the social contract, extended employment guarantees for the JSW Crew for another 10 years and scheduled 3.4% salary increases as of 1 July 2021. The cooperation with the trade unions should be guided, above all, by concern for a good and stable future of the Company and the safety of its employees in the decades to come.
What matters today is the company’s stable development, which may be attained through improvements in organizational, technological, production and commercial efficiency, opening up to global opportunities, looking for new potential, continuing key investment projects and caring for our employees as the company’s highest and most important asset.
JSW is a stock exchange-listed company and the largest European producer of coking coal – a commodity classified as having a critical, and therefore strategic, significance for the development and competitiveness of the European Union. Today our Company has a tangible opportunity to tap into its market potential.