50 miners at the state-owned mine no. 10 Novovolynska in Ukraine are continuing a hunger strike that they started four days ago to protest unpaid wages.
On 9 November, the parliament of Ukraine promised the protesters that they would allocate 8.5 million UAH (US$ 333,000) to pay the wages and provide stable pay for 400 miners till the end of the year. The wage bill owed for August, September and October is 7 million, and wages for November and December will be due soon. The total wage budget is expected to be 12 million. The miners insist on the transfer of the entire amount and continue the radical protest action. In addition, the completion of the mine remains unresolved.
Mine management initially tried to discourage workers from going on a hunger strike, but now it fully supports the action. Administration representatives regularly visit the starving miners, ask about their health and provide news about the funding situation.
One of the protesters, a member of the primary trade union organization of Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine at the mine no. 10 Novovolynska Alexander Gerasimchuk says:
“We received the information that the minister of energy and coal industry Igor Nasalyk appealed to the prime minister Volodymyr Groysman at the meeting of the cabinet of ministers and asked to allocate this sum.
“He allegedly promised to find the funds. We are sadder but wiser and know the true value of promises. We were promised a lot here, in Novovolynsk, and in Kiev. However, that's as far as it ever went. So we have decided not to believe the promises and to starve until we are able to do this”.
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More than 50 Ukrainian miners on hunger strike