Bosnian power company warns of power cuts following protest by coal miners

Aerial view of the thermal power plant in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 18, 2021. Photo taken with a drone on October 18, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

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SARAJEVO, Nov. 24 (Reuters) – Power generation at the Tuzla coal-fired power plant in Bosnia is under threat after seven coal mines that are part of the EPBiH utility halt their work to protest the new pay rules, a declared Wednesday the director general of the EPBiH.

About 7,000 minors launched industrial action on Tuesday, and thousands of them demonstrated in Sarajevo for two days against what they called government violations of labor and pay regulations. Read more

The miners and their union leaders refused to negotiate with the government and EPBiH officials, saying they would not return to the mines until their demands were met.

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They insist that the EPBiH pay the unpaid pension contributions and renounce the proposed lowering of a base salary to 570 Bosnian mark (291 euros) against 850 marka.

The seven coal mines have accumulated a debt of nearly a billion marks due to mismanagement and corrupt practices over the past decade, said the Minister of Industry and Energy of the Autonomous Bosnian-Croat Federation of Bosnia, Nermin Dzindic. Read more

Coal reserves are sufficient for the next 10 days, said EPBiH Director General Admir Andelija, expressing hope that a solution would be found so that EPBiH is not forced to raise prices for electricity.

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Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Toby Chopra

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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