More than 600 coal miners in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda region have gone on strike in a demand for higher salaries and an improvement to working conditions.
The scale of the strike is notable for Kazakhstan, where authorities take a dim view toward industrial action and have regularly taken strict punitive action against ringleaders.
On December 11, laborers at four mines owned by ArcelorMittal Temirtau declared that they would refuse to leave the work site at the end of their shift, the Karaganda regional administration said.
Company representatives and regional officials quickly embarked on talks with the striking workers. Law enforcement personnel is said to be at the site.
Labor and Social Protection Minister Tamara Duseinova told reporters that the main demand coming from workers was for a twofold increase to salaries. Duseinova said that minimum salaries at ArcelorMittal Temirtau vary between $620 and $980, depending on the department.
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