Romanian coal miners protest underground, fear job losses

BUCHAREST, Romania – Romanian officials say about 40 coal miners are continuing an underground protest in western Romania over fears of job losses and mine closures.

Hundreds of coal miners began the industrial action Monday at the Vulcan and Lonea mines after their company, which manages four mines and has 6,300 employees, declared insolvency last month.

Local government official Sorin Vasilescu and the manager of the Hunedoara Energy Complex met with the coal miners overnight Tuesday and promised to make the industry “a viable activity.”

Some 40 miners ignored their assurances and remained underground Wednesday, demanding written guarantees that the mining company will not be declared bankrupt.

While some miners gave up their protest, others said they would go down the mine for their six-hour shift Wednesday, but would not work.