The privatization of a state-run steel mill was derailed by protesting workers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing state media. Some 3,000 employees of Linzhou Iron & Steel as early as Tuesday began protesting against the firm’s sale to Fengbao Iron & Steel. Under the new ownership, workers would have received US$159.5 each year in compensation, an amount protestors believed to be insufficient. Demonstrators temporarily prevented a government mediator from leaving the plant and officials in Henan province called off the proposed sale on Sunday after armed police dispersed the demonstrators late Saturday night. Beijing has been trying to consolidate its steel industry for some time, but has faced opposition from dissatisfied workers. Violent protests at Tonghua Iron & Steel mill last month resulted in the death of the mill’s interim manager.
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