Hitler’s endsieg in its origin meant “ultimate victory at any cost”. Soon after the II World War, critics gave it a new meaning: “costly and empty victory”. Similar term could be used to describe what actually happened in the Polish coal market in 2015, where all the spectacular successes that were celebrated with great fanfare were actually of rather minor value.

Battle 1: Lets start with the paper that was this year treated with the same honor and worship as the Joseph Smith’s golden plates among the Mormons – Agreement from 17th January. After couple weeks of miners striking, PO’s government decided to surrender and sat down to the table with the labor unions. According to this piece of paper, government promised not to shut down any mine and establish Nowa Kompania Węglowa before the parliamentary election in October.

Result: None of the mines were officially shut down, instead they were divided into parts and many of them were moved directly to Mines Restructure Company (SRK). We would be grateful if anyone could explain us if there is any difference between cutting the whole hand and cutting it finger after finger. The same trick worked for NKW, which after all was not established in the promised period nor the version, but instead only moved to TF Silesia, which resulted in nothing more than adding a middle man in the ownership’s supervision.

Battle 2: Started shortly after the January’s fight in Kompania Węglowa, an aggressive conflict between miners from Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and Jarosław Zagórowski, JSW’s CEO since 2007 was another example how the watchwords can sometimes cover the true goal. The whole turmoil started when JSW decided to cut costs due to the large debt (today it is somewhere around 7.5bn PLN). Labor unions obviously were not pleased with that and decided to go on strike, which shortly after turned into a pointless dogfight, with a main slogan “Zagórowski must go”.

Result: It was a pity to watch such an experienced manager as Jarosław Zagórowski leaving his job after he did not found any support from the government. Unions crack opened the champagne and got wasted on it, but quickly sobered up when they read the agreement they signed. Besides beheading the CEO, they actually agreed to all the cuts and the general belts tightening. Miners were outraged, and so the employees from KWK Pniówek decided to form up a new labor union called Jedność (Unity) to defend themselves from the harmful actions of the other labor unions.