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German miners demand job protection ahead of coal phase-out

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German miners demand job protection ahead of coal phase-out

Employees of German utility RWE attend a labour protest, as environmentalis
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REUTERS
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Twenty-thousand German miners took to the streets on Wednesday (October 24), demanding protection for their jobs. The demonstration came as the country's coal commission is drawing up plans to phase out coal-fired power generation altogether.

The move has delighted environmentalists but trade unions say it's putting thousands of jobs at risk by rushing the withdrawl from coal-fired energy.

One man at the demonstration in Bernheim said environmental concerns need to be balanced wtih other considerations:

“We hope that they are also thinking about the employees and that [the plans are] evaluated in a realistic way. Coal alone is not the evil-doer. Coal is part of the problem but it’s not the only thing.”

The government is expected to pump around €1.5 billion of federal assistance into affected regions but workers aren't convinced.

Protests are scheduled around the country for later this week.