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Ukrainian miners strike

January was marked with miners strikes in Western Ukraine.

The employees of mine Stepova started a protest action demanding the reimbursement of their salaries. On January 4, the workers of  mine “Velykomostivska” and mine “Lisova” supported their colleagues and initiated strikes in their mines. These three mines belong to State Enterprise “Lvivvugilliya”. The miners insist that their salaries for November and December 2015 should be reimbursed immediately.

January 5, 2016: Lviv oblast miners came out for a meeting at the central Chervonograd square demanding the reimbursement of their salaries’ arrears. The miners say that if the salary debts are not reimbursed by 7 January they will organize a bigger meeting with thousands of protesters and will block highways leading to trans-border territories as Rava-Ruska.

The total salary debt amount for miners in 2015 makes up 825 million Hryvnas. Besides Lviv mines, the situation with salary debts in other coal mines of the country remains difficult (Volyn, Donetsk and Luhansk mines).  For example, miners of “Pivdennodonbaska #3” mine haven’t been paid their 3-months salaries for 2014. More than 5,5 million Hryvnas are to be paid to the workers of “Lviv coal mining company”.

«Ukraine now is facing strong frosts and during the last three days the coal stock at heating plants decreased by 50 000 tons. The stock of coal was possible because of warm November and December days. The state of the Ukrainian mines is in deteriorating condition. If immediate actions aren’t taken, the country will face an energy collapse as the coal mining sector will be completely ruined” – said Mykhailo Volynets, the Head of Independent Trade Union of Coal Miners of Ukraine.

January 14, miners of the town of Chrvonograd are blocking the highway Lviv-Rava-Ruska near the village of Soposhin. At the same time it became known that Private Joint Stock Company “DTEK Zahidenergo” terminates its collaboration with State Enterprise “Lvivvugillya”.

According to Mykhailo Volynets the miners haven’t been paid their salaries for 1,5 months and the government in its turn blames the miners for their “destructive” actions. “I am aware that Volodymyr Dymchyshin, the Minister of Energy and Coal Mining Industry broke the agreement with DTEK.  The agreement envisaged the supply of “Tsentrenergo” coal (anthracite) by a private company to state enterprises in Kharkiv and Kyiv Oblasts and in return, this company was buying gaseous coal from Lvivvugillya for DTEK heating stations (Burshnyn and Dobrotvirsk stations). However, today DTEK refused to buy the coal extracted by Lviv and Volyn miners”, – said M.Volynets. He also mentioned that the government representatives blame the miners for their protests, saying that they destabilize the situation in the region. The Head of Lviv Oblast State Administration Oleg Syniutka was among those who was indignant about the miners’ protests.

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