Spontaneous Strike of Miners in Salihorsk
In the night of 8-9 September a strike of the Belaruskaly miners was organized under the Italian procedure: the miners descended underground but didn’t start working. Around 80% miners being underground went on strike, the Belarusian Helsinki committee representative in Salihorsk Leanid Markhotka reported.
The strike of the Saligorsk miners was mainly caused by the government’s intention to deprive the workers of their gains of 1991-1993 strikes:
- To suspend additional pension payments for labor under adverse working conditions in case the pensioner continues working with the Belaruskaliy;
- To terminate or reduce the additional retirement allowance (the so-called ‘funeral’ allowance);
- to reduce the vacation term for underground workers down to 40 days (presently the vacation term for those who works directly in the mine is 56 days);
- health care allowance to be paid only in case the worker procures the sanatorium or rest home voucher.
The strike was preventive. In case the government implements its intentions on depriving Saligorsk miners of their socio-economic gains or in case of the strikers persecution the miners are to start the endless strike involving the on-land workers of the refineries and supplementary works. Presently the work on coordination of actions is being under way between the underground and on-land departments of Belaruskaly.
According to the United Civic Party press service, the KGB staff has been sent to all the departments of the Belaruskaliy for investigating the strike circumstances and discovering its initiators.