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Poles Demonstrate Against Unemployment And Poverty

Employees of the Tonsil speaker-systems manufacturer in Wrzesnia demonstrated on 28 August, protesting the difficult situation of their company and growing unemployment, and demanding back wages, Polish Radio reported.

The same day, more than 2,000 workers of the Wagon SA rolling-stock plant in Ostrow Wielkopolski demanded unpaid wages and a recovery program to save the company from bankruptcy, PAP reported.

Workers of the Stalowa Wola steel mill escalated their continuing sit-in protest by organizing a road blockade.

Some 1,000 coalminers in Ruda Slaska protested the planned liquidation of the Polska-Wirek mine. Meanwhile, Deputy Economy Minister Marek Szczepanski said on 28 August that Poland could get 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) from the European Union for "active forms" of fighting unemployment, should the government contribute 500 million euros for the same purpose.

Szczepanski stressed that "active" measures against unemployment do not include paying social-assistance benefits or benefits for the jobless.

(RFE/RL 29.viii.03)

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