Polish miners protesting mine closure threaten wider strike after talks fail

IndustriesAssociated Press

Miners in southern Poland protesting government plans to close four collieries threaten a larger strike after talks with Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz failed.

Protests broke out last week when the government said it wanted to close mines that generate losses, and lay off or transfer 12,000 employees in order to save the state-owned Coal Company, which also has 10 other mines. Hundreds of protesters, some of them underground, are rejecting offers of severance pay or paid leave. They want to keep their jobs and demand a restructuring of the coal mining sector that largely supplies Poland in energy and heat.

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Kopacz said Tuesday she was surprised that talks Monday broke off. The miners are threatening to toughen their position and are working on a new proposal for a deal.