Approx 2500 employees of forest companies protested

Higher rates for work demanded about 2.5 thousand employees of forest companies who protested at the prime minister's office in Warsaw. The protesters filed a petition with their demands.

The protesters were dressed in orange and yellow vest; they had whistles and mechanical saws that they launched several times. They kept banners with inscriptions; "End of exploitation in the State Forests,” "Administration of State Forests creates a gray zone", "I am a lumberjack, and I will be an invalid".

We demand higher rates for our work enabling legal employment of employees. The State Forests pay forest companies from 14 to a maximum of 25 zlotys per hour of work of a forest worker. With this money, the forestry company should pay ZUS, other contributions, as well as costs related to employment, including employee's equipment. After paying for the employee, there may be approx 6 -10 per hour of hard work - said Roman, president of the Association of Forest Entrepreneurs.

As added low rates, employees are not equipped with health and safety equipment. Forestry workers, contrary to the ban, work with saws not for 4 hours a day, only 8 hours, which causes them to suffer from hearing loss and vibration disease - emphasized Romulo. He added that forestry workers are demanding a 30% increase forestry rates. We demand that the State Forests raise in 2016 the amount for forest service by 30 percent compared to this year - said Romulo.

He pointed out that most of the works related to caring for, cutting down forests are commissioned by the State Forests to Forest Service Services (ZUL). About 4,000 such companies employ 6,000 people. The work of these people is essential for the proper functioning of the entire forest and wood sector. We are talking about a branch of the economy producing as much as 9 percent. The production value of the entire Polish industry, which cannot function stably without regular deliveries of wood from the State Forests - said Romulo in safety vest.

He added that the process of disintegration of the forest service’s market has been going on for many years. Conducted talks with the forest administration are one-sided and do not bring any changes for the better, on the contrary. Our situation has been deteriorating for eight years. Employees are working harder and are doing more and more jobs; they receive a relatively lower remuneration. Our physical and mental stamina has exceeded the critical mass - he stressed.

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