The protest involved Sub-contractors linked to the Italian company Astaldi which has abandoned many of the projects it won and failed to pay workers, 150 of them are being threatened with bankruptcy.
According to transport infrastructure expert Adrian Furgalski unless the government acts fast the whole “plan of building roads and railway lines could break down”.
The reason for the problems is the fact that the contracts were signed at a time when steel and asphalt prices were considerably lower than they are today. For example, the price of asphalt has risen by 90 percent since 2016 and the price of steel by 64 percent.
The price of asphalt has risen by 90 percent since 2016 and the price of steel by 64 percent
Furgalski also pointed to a labor shortage as being a part of the problem together with the unwillingness of the government to renegotiate contracts to take account of the changing conditions. The expert feared that the situation could deteriorate next year, as a result of Germany opening up its labor market to Ukrainians, and as result of a promised steep rise in the costs of electricity.
The representative of the Construction lobby, Jan Styliński warned that without a revaluation of contracts there is a danger of “companies leaving building sites and contractors who have won tenders refusing to sign contracts with public investors”.
We can’t just arbitrarily increase contracts that have been tendered for, or that will be contested by those who lost the tenders
The Minister of Transport Andrzej Adamczyk assures that his ministry is working hard at systemic solutions to the problems of galloping prices and the shortage of labor.
“We are already paying more to contractors where this is justified. But we have to take care of public finance and cannot give way to blackmail. We can’t just arbitrarily increase contracts that have been tendered for, or that will be contested by those who lost the tenders. It must all be carefully calculated and justified,” argues Adamczyk.