The closure of the Coal Mine (RUP) and Thermal Power Plant (TE) must not happen before 2050, because it would have unforeseeable consequences for the Pljevlja Municipality, which is dominantly dependent on the work of energy companies. This is what they believe in the Trade Union Organization of Coal Mine, whose president is Miladin Sekulić.
– Under no circumstances should the RUP and TE be closed before 2050. We will not support any proposal related to the closure of Rudnik before that year – Sekulić told Vijestima.
He pointed out that until now the trade unions were not included in the negotiation process related to the so-called fair transition, although, as he pointed out, it mostly concerns the employees of Pljevlja energy companies.
The position of the union Is that RUP and TE should work as long as there is coal, which he points out is significantly longer than 2050, given that there are still huge amounts of unexploited coal in the Pljevlja municipality. Sekulić said that this year the Government must declare until when it intends to exploit coal, that is, until when the thermal power plant will produce electricity using this energy source.
Sekulić points out that it is important for the people of Pljevlja to have active communication with the Government and to participate in making this decision, which is of fateful importance for the further survival of this community. The president of this trade union organization says that it is important that the citizens of Pljevlja live in a clean and unpolluted environment, but that it is also important to save jobs.
– In Europe, there is a problem for one small thermal power plant like ours, and no one mentions the 300 thermal power plants in Germany – claims Sekulić, adding that Germany has agreed to stop using coal in 2049, and Slovenia in 2033.
– We must not allow them to take something from which we live without first creating the conditions for Pljevlja to go through this period as painlessly as possible. The heating of the city is planned, and the environmental reconstruction of the thermal power plant is underway, which will significantly reduce environmental pollution in Pljevlja – said Sekulić.
He stated that a survey was recently conducted among the employees of RUP, where they see themselves in five years, conducted by UNDP for the needs of the Government.
– Only 15% of workers answered that they see themselves outside the RUP in five years, but only as a consequence of the fact that in that period they will fulfill the condition for pension. 85% of the other respondents said that they see themselves in RUP. All the employees stated that their salary in RUP was their only income and that they exclusively linked their existence to that company – said Sekulić, adding that similar results were obtained among TE employees.
Sekulić said that salaries in RUP are paid regularly and that the company provides money to employees to solve housing issues, and that winter bonuses and salary bonuses are paid for the years in which the company successfully operated. According to Sekulić, the closure of the largest companies in Pljevlja would result in additional emigration of the population.