The number of miners of the Rostovugol enterprises (Shakhty, Rostov Region in South Russia), who went on a hunger strike, has grown to 41, says Yuri Kaunov, deputy chairman of the territorial committee of the coal mining trade union.
On May 31, nine workers of the mining equipment factory and 25 miners of the Shakhty construction and assembly department of Rostovugol went on strike. In the next two days, they were joined by another 7 strikers, who demand the payment of many months of wage arrears.
Rostovugol is in the process of going bankrupt and hence cannot fulfill the strikers' demand by June 15, when the auction to sell the company's assets will be held. It has no other possibility to repay its debts.
Doctors are worried by the state of two women who went on strike on Monday and have recommended them to stop the strike.
It is not the first hunger strike of Russian miners. In April and May this year, over 220 miners of a private mine Yeniseiskaya in Chernogorsk, Khakassia (East Siberia), went on a strike demanding the payment of wage arrears. On Thursday, the court passed a sentence of guilty on former director of the mine Chong Yong Taek on charges of deliberate wage arrears to the about 400 staff members of the mine.
The conflict was settled with the help of Chernogorsk administration and the Khakassia government, which issued loans against future coal deliveries for the payment of wage arrears.