Mining sector situation is escalating in Ukraine

The situation in the mining sector in Ukraine is becoming desperate. On 4 August in Kiev, five miners, members of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine from Donetsk region has started hunger strike at the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine. They demand to reimburse salary debts and stable operation and development of state-owned mines.

Three protesters are from SE "Selydivvuhillya” (Ivan Chukov, Victor Trifonov, chairman Oleksiy Soroka) and two protesters are from SE "Krasnoarmiyskvugillya" (Dudnik Alexander and Alexander Karpov). The other leaders of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine staid with them and supported them.

Mikhail Volynets, the President of Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine says, that "Miners don’t believe in Government’s promises. Miners and their families desperate. Their main demand - to pay arrears of salaries and save their job places. Some workers of state mines didn’t get wages from December 2015. Many miners have not received money in May, June and July 2016”.

Doctors, representatives of the Free Trade Union of Medical Workers are regulary examining protesters. NPGU provides miners with necessary medicine. The miners are going to starve until their demands are fulfilled.

Meanwhile, few days ago several mines stopped working: "Ukraine", "Kurakhovskaya", "1/3 Novogrodovskaya", "Russia" (SE " Selydivvuhillya") and "Stakhanov" (SE " Krasnoarmiyskvugillya "). The miners refused to work and started the protest. On 5th of August Chervonohrad miners protested in Lviv and blocked the international highway Lviv-Rava-Ruska. They also haven’t received their salaries.

On 9 August, during a press conference the head of the local Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine cities Selidovo and Novogrodivka (Donetsk region) Viktor Trifonov tried to commit self-immolation in the building of Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine. Victor Trifonov was hospitalized and now he is in the hospital.

On 11th of August, miners of the largest mine of the State Enterprise “Krasnoarmiiskvuhillia” “Stahanova” (Donetsk region) has started a spontaneous strike. The chairman of the local organization of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine Olexander Abramov said that miners refused to go down into the mine and all work stopped. Miners protest against unpaid wages. They haven’t received salary for tree month.
Workers gathered in a large assembly hall to discussed their problems. Also they are choosing representatives who will go to Kyiv and meet with authorities.
At the same time, this morning miners’ trade union leader from Chervonohrad (Lviv region) came to Kyiv. They represent miners from SE ‘Lvivvuhillya’ who also demand to pay salary debt. They visited their colleagues from SE "Selydivvuhillya" who are holding a hunger strike for 8 days at the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine.

ITUC and IndustriALL Global Union Call on the Government of Ukraine to Intervene and Protect Human Rights of Ukrainian Coal Miners. Today was sent the letter to President Poroshenko to call on immediate action about desperate situation faced by workers in the coal-mining industry of Ukraine.

Burrow-Raina letter