Miners picket the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

23d of December, 09:30 until 13:30 the miners of Independent Trade Unions of Coal Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) together with other trade unions picketed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Energy and Coal Mining demanding to stop destruction of national coal mining sector.

The representatives from various state coal miners came to the capital of Ukraine to protest against the closure of mine and actual elimination of coal mining industry of Ukraine. During the protest meeting Mykhailo Volynets, the Head of the NGPU, addressed the protesters: “We are here the second time during the month of December because the situation in the sector forced us to speak out loud and to make the country’s authorities hear our voices. Unfortunately our voices haven’t been heard and the government pretends being deaf. We have been here several times lately trying to get our earned salaries back. The debt in front of the miners is reaching now one billion Hryvnas. There is no hope that the State Budget for 2016 will envisage funds for coal mining industry. So we must show our determination that we won’t stop fighting for our working places and the energу independence of Ukraine”.

NPGU leaders representing Novovolynsk mines, Lviv Coal Mining Company, Krasnoarmiyskvugillia, and others spoke at the protest meetings raising the same issues: salaries’ arrears, lack of funding to develop new lavas, work safety issues deterioration, etc. All the miners were indignant about the indifference of the state authorities to the national coal mining industry. “Instead of developing Ukraine’s own energy sector, the country buys coal from the South African Republic and Russia, leaving Ukrainian miners jobless”, – said Iryna Maik, the Deputy Head of the NPGU at Lviv Coal Mining Company.

The coal miners warned the government that if their demands to reimburse salaries and to allocate funds for development of coal mining sector are not met in the State Budget for 2016 the miners will carry out bigger protests followed by strikes and blocking the major highways of the country.