More than 50 Ukrainian miners on hunger strike

09.11.2016

Miners at the state-owned mine No. 10 Novovolynska in Ukraine have been on hunger strike since 7 November. Miners are demanding payment of three months’ salaries they are owed.

50 miners from the first shift went on a hunger strike to protest against unpaid salaries. The protestors are also demanding that funds are provided from the state budget to complete the mine, and to meet with the Ukrainian minister of energy and coal industry Igor Nasalyk.

On 27 October, around 300 miners from Novovolynsk state mines protested and blocked a border-crossing point in Yahodyn in Volyn province in north-western Ukraine, making similar demands. When the protest failed to produce results the miners resorted to more extreme measures.

Vasily Pradid, chair of the local organization of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine at Novovolynska mine, says:         

"We are not asking for anything special. The situation of the salary arrears must be resolved - the miners haven’t been paid for three months. The total debt is 7 million UAH (US$ 280,000). If they wished they could have found this money".

Mine management has so far failed to respond to the work stoppage. Co-workers keep joining the striking miners.

Igor Guzya, Member of Parliament of Ukraine, met with the protesters on 8 November and announced that the Minister for the energy and coal industry will visit the mine later this week.

Mychailo Volynets, head of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine, said:

"The miners were desperate and forced to take action accordingly. Miners from the East – from Pavlograd, Dobropillia, Pokrovskaya – are supporting their plight and have sent telegrams of support".