Krakow 20.11.2019 – Study Visit

The study visit was held on Krakow Poland, and attended by 12 representatives of the project partners. During the meeting were discussed:

  • The participation of trade unions in a new labour scenario in three aspects: Employment, training and safety and health of workers.
  • A brief summary of the latest decisions taken by the last meeting on Climate Change, held on September 23 of New York City, where there was an apparent lower commitment by the different participating countries (of the 200 that they signed the Paris Agreement, barely 70 accept new commitments; and, among them, China, USA and India, the main producers of GHG).

After this first reflection of the rapporteur focused on making a brief explanation about what we should understand by an Energy Transition that is Fair, establishing itself as such, that in which there is a participation of the representatives of the workers (unions) with the objective of guaranteeing quality employment, establishing social protection for the most vulnerable groups and respect for human and labor rights.

Next, the new challenges faced by trade unions in the face of the just transition were established, mainly through the tools for information participation, consultation and social dialogue; to continue with the reasons that should make unions to be involved in the energy transition.
Finally, an analysis was established, assessing the situations that were occurring and those of an immediate future; as well as the implications in the future of the conditions of employment of workers, in matters such as: Destruction of Employment; job creation due to the appearance of new deposits (paying special attention to the transport sector); the training of the worker and the safety and health of the workers before the new green jobs and before the implementation of new technologies in this way to the energy transition.
This intervention was completed with an approximation to what the participation of trade unions in these actions on employment, training and protection of safety and health in the workplace should be, highlighting how, at present, they are hardly consulted in 50% of the strategies initiated by governments (energy and climate plans, decarbonization, etc.); and, when they are, in no more than 30% of the cases the proposals of the unions are slightly addressed.
Thus, it was proposed by the rapporteur to raise awareness of the union leaders themselves, prioritizing work on these issues; train those same union leaders in what it means to address a fair energy transition, and increase the affiliation of workers in the companies affected by these processes and seek alliances with other social actors in climate and environmental matters.
After the intervention of the expert, there was a brief debate among the attendees, where each participant highlighted the problems they had in their countries when addressing the social dialogue on these matters.
In the majority of the interventions, the lack of qualified professionals and the absence of regulated training to train workers were highlighted; concluding that the few skilled workers emigrate, especially to Germany, with less skilled workers coming to perform that job, especially in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Next, the attendees realized a study visit by various railway units in the city of Krakow.
They were informed, by those responsible for the Railroad that attended these visits, that there are 19 lines, little coordinated with each other, where about 100,000 workers work.
In this way, the participating delegations were able to observe the construction of different places of the new railway lines that will cross the centre of Krakow, facilitating the use of this transport and limiting the time of current displacements.

In addition, the existence of a 24-hour ticket was reported, with a cost of € 3.5, which allowed to use any public transport in one day, linking the railroad, with other automotive systems.
The visit ended at the Central Station in Krakow, where the delegations were received by a person in charge of it, who made a guided tour of the facilities, explaining, in detail, the operation of the facility and being able to visit the control unit centralized of all the railway service of the zone.
In this visit it was possible to see how the railway and the tram and the access to buses were combined in the station, quickly and comfortably for the users.

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