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Slovak miners' strike ended with beer

Fifty-five miners at the Bankov mine in east Slovakia staged a sit-in strike some 300 meters underground in a bid to force the Economics Ministry to decide on new ownership, Slovak media reported on August 6 and 7. The mine is owned by Košický magnezit, which was declared bankrupt in April after being privatized and is currently one billion Sk ($33 million) in debt. The miners were promised that their jobs were safe after bankruptcy was declared, but by late July, several hundred employees had been laid off and more are expected. The miners were demanding employment guarantees and social benefits from the new owner. The miners ended their sit-in strike after three days on August 7, Národná obroda reported. Upon resurfacing, they were treated to a beer party sponsored by Gemer brewery owner Vladimír Poliak, who is interested in buying the company. The beer contains the vitamins the miners had lost during their underground strike, Poliak claimed. The strike ended following discussions at Všeobecná úverova banka (VÚB) - Košický magnezit's biggest creditor - on the firm's sale, which is expected soon.

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