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New World Resources Falls as Miners Vote to Strike: Prague Mover

New World Resources Plc, the unprofitable Czech producer of coal for steelmakers, fell from its highest level in more than a week as unions approved a strike demanding higher wages for the company’s miners.

The shares sank as much as 6.1 percent after the vote and traded 3.4 percent lower at 27.05 koruna as of 3:39 p.m. in Prague. The drop extended this year’s slump to 72 percent.

The majority of NWR’s miners are planning the strike after the company’s management and the unions failed to reach an agreement on wages for the next four years, the OKD Union of Technical and Economic Professionals said on its website. NWR, which reported its fourth consecutive quarterly loss on Nov. 6, can no longer guarantee benefits such as year-end bonuses equivalent to two months’ pay, Jan Fabian, the chief executive officer of NWR’s main unit OKD, told website Patria this week.

“A strike could certainly hurt the company’s earnings in the fourth quarter,” Bohumil Trampota, a J&T Banka AS analyst, said by phone from Prague today. “The rejection of the collective agreement doesn’t necessarily mean the strike will take place. The negotiations will continue.”

NWR, whose personnel costs constitute 50 percent of its spending, plans to continue talks with the unions, Chief Financial Officer Marek Jelinek said this week. The company has pledged to shut down the unprofitable Paskov mine by the end of 2014.

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