Miners’ Strike in Russia

Miners from the Mikhail Chikha mine in Russia’s southern Rostov region have started an occupation strike. 10 miners occupied the pit last night and more are expected to join today. The workers say they won’t leave the pit until they receive back wages owed to them by the mine. According to the union working in the mine, the miners haven’t been paid in three months and the company owes them at least 15 million roubles. The owner of the mine is the Rusinkor company. In the middle of February it applied to a court to declare bankruptcy. In March the mine shut down for two weeks. The mine, which is near the Ukrainian border, employs over 800 people. The Ukrainian oligrach Rinat Akhmetov has expressed interest in purchasing the company. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the miners, who plan to address the President of Russia later this week, have already written to Dmitry Medvedev. They point out that if the situation in the mining industry doesn’t change, there will be a million unemployed miners in the country. Miners blame the Finance Ministry and say the Government’s promises to ease the tax burden on coal mines haven’t yet been fulfilled yet.

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