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Potash Miners on Strike in Bischofferode (Thuringia) (April 9, 1993)

In December 1992, the Bundestag decided to close both of Thuringia’s potash mining sites, Bischofferode and Merkers, because their production was no longer needed. The Treuhandanstalt [Trusteeship Agency] favored a merger between the Mitteldeutsche Kali AG [Central German Potash Joint Stock Company], under which the East German mines were united, and the West German Kali + Salz AG [Potash + Salt Joint Stock Company]. The merger meant imminent layoffs. Therefore, 700 miners protested to urge the Trusteeship Agency to consider a new privatization concept. On April 7, 1993, miners occupied the Bischofferode plant to exert pressure on the agency; miners and sympathizers even went on a temporary hunger strike. In the end, the protests could not put a stop to the merger between Mitteldeutsche Kali AG and Kali + Salz AG, and the Bischofferode mine became part of the “Limited Liability Corporation for the Custody and Utilization of Closed Mining Plants” after being considered “unfit for renovation.”

Shown here: Potash miners block the factory gate with a big underground machine during the occupation of the mine on April 9, 1993. The banner reads: "This plant is occupied." The sign on the left reads: "Not like this, Trusteeship Agency!" the one on the right reads: "Unique in Europe and treasured: the K 60 from Bischofferode." Photo: Ralf Hirschberger.

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Potash Miners on Strike in Bischofferode (Thuringia) (April 9, 1993)

picture-alliance / dpa
(c) dpa-Bildarchiv