April 29, 2020 / 11:43 AM / a month ago

Poland's Tauron cuts hours and pay at its coal mines

KATOWICE, Poland, April 29 (Reuters) - Poland’s Tauron will cut hours and pay by 20% in its three coal mines for three months from May, making it eligible for government help during the new coronavirus crisis, the state-run utility said on Wednesday.

Poland relies on coal for almost 80% of its electricity production, but lockdown measures, which have shut schools, restaurants, cinemas, some factories and reduced railway transportation, have led to a fall in demand for coal and power.

Tauron’s mining unit has been weighing on the group’s results and the company has looked to sell the assets, though it said this month that the business was improving.

Tauron said daily coal output in its mines stood at 20,000 tonnes in the first quarter.

Poland’s biggest coal producer, state-run PGG, said this month that it also needs to cut pay and working hours, but the management proposal was rejected by trade unions.

Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; writing by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Jason Neely

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