BERLIN (AP) — Thousands of steelworkers have gathered in western Germany in a protest over the planned merger of the European steel operations of Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel, which is expected to cost up to 4,000 jobs.
News agency dpa reported that nearly 7,000 people took part in Friday's protest in Bochum, and steel production was largely halted ahead of the demonstration. Germany's top labor union leader, Reiner Hoffmann, accused Thyssenkrupp's management of failing to take account of employees' interests, while German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles said "the future of steel in Germany" is at stake.
Germany's Thyssenkrupp and India's Tata on Wednesday signed a preliminary deal to create a joint venture headquartered in the Netherlands. The move to create Europe's second-largest steel company is an effort to consolidate the struggling industry.