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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Orlen on group layoffs at Europol Gaz. Borys Budka, Minister of State Assets, provided details

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A group layoff procedure is being carried out at Europol Gaz, Orlen informed. The restructuring is scheduled to be completed in March 2024. According to the company from Płock, dismissed people can count on, among other things, a benefit of PLN 8,000 for training and additional compensation of seven times the gross basic salary. Information on this matter was provided by the Minister of State Assets, Borys Budka, in response to a parliamentary question.

In October 2023, Orlen took over the owner of the Polish section of the Yamal gas pipeline, Europol Gaz. In recent weeks, Jakub Rutnicki from the Civic Coalition sent an interpellation to the Minister of State Assets regarding the planned group layoffs at Europol Gaz.

The answer was provided by the Minister of State Assets Borys Budka. The head of MAP provided the information he obtained from Orlen. The Płock company assured that the restructuring of Europol Gaz and the related employment reduction “are the result of circumstances unrelated and beyond the company’s control.”

Orlen on group layoffs at Europol Gaz

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“As Orlen informed, the restructuring of employment at Europol Gaz is the result of changes resulting from the amendment to the energy law, administrative decisions and changes in the directions of gas supplies to Poland in connection with sanctions imposed on energy suppliers from Russia, as well as Russian sanctions imposed on Europol Gaz.” – we read in response to the interpellation.

The head of MAP said – citing the explanations of the Płock concern – that the above meant that the provision of transmission services on the Polish section of the Yamal-Western Europe transit gas pipeline (Transit Gas Pipeline System), including the use of compressor stations in accordance with the designed purpose, is currently not possible. “There are no reasons to assume that the situation will change in the near future,” Budka added.

As recalled, gas transit and gas supplies to Poland using the Yamal-Western Europe transit gas pipeline have not been carried out since May 11, 2022. The Minister of Assets said that, among other things, Due to the high costs of maintaining unused compressor stations, Orlen announced that it does not see any possibility of changing the situation in this area of ​​its operations in the near future.

As a result, Europol Gaz decided to change the current method of operating the compressor station. “The changes in the method of operation involve limiting the scope and frequency of servicing, leaving only the systems responsible for the safety of the facility in normal operation (operation). In the case of other systems, devices and installations, it was assumed that the scope of maintenance activities is to ensure the maintenance of the technical condition of the devices and installations “One of the effects of the adopted changes is the need to reduce employment at compressor stations,” explained Minister Budka.

Collective layoffs at Europol Gaz

He added that “it was calculated with the support of the general designer of the system – PGNiG Gazoprojekt SA, that to carry out limited maintenance activities, an 11-person staff at the compressor station is sufficient, while shift service is not necessary.” “On this basis, assumptions for employment restructuring were established,” we read in response to the interpellation.

The information provided shows that the restructuring of employment at Europol Gaz began in November 2023 and is expected to last until March 2024. “Employment contracts as part of group layoffs were terminated in most cases by mutual agreement of the parties, on terms that had previously been negotiated and accepted by the Company Trade Unions,” it was assured.

Orlen announced that these changes include, among others: At the Szamotuły Gas Compressor Station, the employment contract of 12 employees was terminated, of which one of them was transferred to retirement. “Some of the employees from the liquidated positions were employed in other positions, while some of them had their employment contracts terminated, in most cases by mutual consent of the parties,” said Borys Budka.

It is not known how many employees will be affected by collective layoffs in total.

Training allowance and additional compensation

According to Orlen’s assurances, “the collective redundancy procedure is carried out in accordance with the provisions of applicable law, and employees whose employment relationship is terminated by the employer are provided with multi-faceted assistance from the employer in searching for new employment.”

In particular – as it was emphasized – “the employer fulfilled the obligations specified in the Act on employment promotion and labor market institutions.” This was to be done by: paying each employee a benefit of PLN 8,000. PLN net for training and vocational training purposes; payment of seven times additional compensation to each employee basic salary gross and conducting career counseling training for dismissed employees, which took place on December 28, 2023.

At the same time, it was noted that in September last year an agreement was signed with trade unions regarding the implementation of the “New Job” Program, the aim of which is to support Europol Gaz employees in the process of looking for employment in companies belonging to the Orlen Group. “Also in September 2023, on the basis of the Letter of Intent, cooperation with OGP Gaz-System was initiated in the scope of supporting Europol Gaz employees in the recruitment process at Gaz-System,” said the Minister of State Assets in response to the interpellation.

Europol Gaz owns the Polish section of the Yamal gas pipeline

Europol Gaz is the owner of the Polish part of the Yamal-Europa transit gas pipeline system. It includes, among others: a gas pipeline with a length of approximately 684 km, which can be used to transmit natural gas to the needs of foreign and domestic customers. There are five gas compressor stations located on the Polish section of the gas pipeline: Kondratki, Zambrów, Ciechanów, Włocławek and Szamotuły.

The operator of the transmission system in the Polish part is Gaz-System SA, which is responsible for its proper functioning and safety, including maintenance, repairs and ongoing technological supervision.

Recall that Gazprom On April 27, 2022, it unilaterally suspended gas supplies to customers in Poland under the Yamal contract. According to Gazprom, the reason was PGNiG’s rejection of payment for gas in rubles. Earlier, the President of Russia signed a decree on this matter Vladimir Putin.

PAP/Adam Ziemienowicz

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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