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Bosnian Utility, Striking Coal Miners Reach Deal To Avert Electricity Cuts.

Bosnian utility Elektroprivreda and coal miners have reached a deal to end a strike that threatened to disrupt power supplies in the Balkan country just as winter approaches.
Thousands of coal miners had been striking for more than a week over work conditions and pay, forcing state-run Elektroprivreda to shut down operations at two coal-fired power plants in Tuzla, in the north of the country.
Miners were also angry over a government phaseout and restructuring plans for the coal industry. Seventy-five percent of Bosnia's electricity comes from coal-fired power stations, and a 2050 commitment to shut down the industry has set the stage for a dramatic economic and cultural shift. Union leaders and Elektroprivreda said that under a government-mediated deal, mining operations would begin again on December 1. The agreement, among other things, met union demands for the dismissal of the director of the Kreka mine in Tuzla, one of the seven mines operated by Elektroprivreda. It also provides for pay raises and ensures that obligations to retired miners are met. Elektroprivreda said it would ask the government of the Muslim and Croat federation, which makes up half of Bosnia along with Serb-majority Republika Srpska, to raise the price of coal from 2022 by 20 percent. Admir Andelija, the director of Elektroprivreda, told reporters that any increase in the price of coal would not impact electricity prices paid by households. Bosnia's political institutions are mired in years of crisis as well, as various factions still governed under a 26-year-old peace agreement to end the Bosnian War maintain power-sharing along mostly ethnic lines, with an international high representative helping to ensure some aspects of government.

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