KATOWICE (dpa) – More than 1300 Polish miners in the industrial region of Upper Silesia were on strike on Friday to protest government plans to shut down four coalmines.
Representatives of the miners’ union have announced more protests next week. The government says the closures are necessary to save the sector.
The miners want the government to keep all 19 mines of loss-making national mining company Kompania Weglowa to remain open.
Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz defended the cutting plans in an interview published in Polish daily “Gazeta Wyborcza” on Friday. “The heavy debts of more than 4.1 billion Zloty (more than one billion Euro) leave only two options: Collapse or a rescue plan”, she said.
A collapse would be “a tragedy for the whole Polish economy,” she said.