CZ/SK verze

We Are the First to Know: First Personnel Changes in PKP Cargo

We Are the First to Know: First Personnel Changes in PKP Cargo
photo: PKP Cargo / Public domain/PKP Cargo
09 / 02 / 2024

RAILTARGET presents exclusive information on the recent post-election personnel changes at Poland's national freight carrier, PKP Cargo. Amidst significant restructuring, the company faces leadership adjustments and challenges ahead.

Poland's largest rail freight carrier, PKP Cargo, is in trouble. At the end of last week, the supervisory board dismissed the chairman of the board and CEO, Dariusz Seliga, and the board's member for business, Marek Olkiewicz. According to PKP Cargo, the dismissal was made "for serious reasons."

The supervisory board has appointed Maciej Jankowicz, a board member responsible for financial matters, to lead the Polish national freight carrier. It was generally expected that the new government would implement changes within the PKP holding company at a later date.

In the meantime, the government has replaced the management of the high-speed rail construction company CPK and its subsidiary PKP Trakce, in addition to the ministry's management. PKP Cargo is a publicly listed company. In the privatization process, the state, through its parent company PKP SA, retained influence over the composition of the supervisory board and the board of directors.

The impetus for the removal of the current management effectively came from employee representatives, who also announced a two-hour warning strike, which is taking place in Poland on February 7th. However, no one doubts that the instruction for personnel changes was given to the management of PKP SA by the new government. Nevertheless, the management of PKP SA itself also expects to make personnel changes shortly.

What are the employees of PKP Cargo demanding? First of all, an increase in wages, which, in their opinion, the former management tactically denied them at the end of 2023. The employees have also sent a letter to Prime Minister Donald Tusk expressing concern about the crisis in the company and the loss of many thousands of jobs. But they also point out that they have asked for dialogue with the new government about the problems, which they believe could lead to the company's bankruptcy. They made this request more than a month ago. However, the current Minister for National Asset Management has not yet responded to their request.

The volume of PKP Cargo's shipments fell by almost 18% year-on-year in 2023. PKP Cargo's share of the Polish market also fell from 35.4% to 31.4%. However, the market share of the largest competitor, DB Cargo Polska, also fell, albeit to a lesser extent, from 15.9% to 14.9%. Among Polish companies, Lotos Kolej, which merged with Orlen Koltrans last year, saw its market share grow. Despite the decline in transport volumes, which is an indicator of the approaching economic stagnation in Poland, the former management of PKP Cargo managed to return the national freight carrier's economic result to positive figures in 2023.