Bulgaria’s coal region workers threatened: National protest rally announced to preserve jobs and economic security

With the territorial plans for a just transition proposed for public discussion in the three coal regions of the country – Stara Zagora, Pernik, and Kyustendil – more than 20,000 jobs face direct threats, while over 80,000 people will experience indirect repercussions. Valentin Valchev, the Chairman of the Federation of Independent Miners’ Unions at the KNSB, conveyed this information to the Bulgarian National Radio.

Due to their disagreement with these plans, the structures of the National Security Council and the Confederation of Labor “Podkrepa” have announced that miners and energy workers will stage a national protest rally-march in Sofia on September 19 to preserve coal mining.

We only see a loss of workforce and financial resources, and it hasn’t been demonstrated how these challenges will be overcome. There’s no guarantee of our energy independence and Bulgaria’s national security. We don’t perceive justice, and the transition appears far from smooth. While discussions mention reducing capacities, these are, in reality, mere aspirations. The territorial plans lack specific measures. People can’t envision a future, and they’re determined to safeguard their jobs and incomes. Where will they go? Where will they find employment? How will they support their families? These territorial plans provide no answers!

Valentin Valchev, the Chairman of the Federation of Independent Miners’ Unions

Valentin Valchev additionally mentioned that the public discussion of the territorial plan for a just transition in Stara Zagora is scheduled for September 14, following the conclusion of discussions on the plans for the other two regions.

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