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Coal miners in Kiev-controlled Lugansk region barricade themselves until back wages paid

July 16, 17:19 UTC+3 KIEV

The miners also demand Ukrainian TV journalists be granted access to them

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KIEV, July 16. /TASS/. Coalminers of the Kapustina mine in Kiev-controles Lugansk regions are refusing to leave the mine and go to the surface demanding wage arrears repayment, leader of the Ukrainian Independent Coal Miners Trade Union Mikhail Volynets said on Sunday.

"Miners have been staying inside the mine for the second day running. Yesterday, miners of the first shift refused to leave the mine while the following shifts go down. They demand repayment of delayed wages starting from 2015," he wrote on his Facebook account.

Apart from that, according to Volynets, the miners demand Ukrainian TV journalists be granted access to them.

Currently, as many as 54 miners are staying inside the mine. Wage arrears amount to 96 million hryvnias (3.7 million U.S. dollars). "Other state-run mines also have wage arrears. In case delayed wages are not repaid by the Coal Miner’s Day, such strikes are inevitable across entire Ukraine," he stressed, adding he hopes the sum of 280 million hryvnias (10.8 million U.S. dollars) that was allocated on Thursday by amendments to the budget to support the mining sector would go to repay wage arrears.

The Kapustina mine is owned by the Lisichanskugol company which also operates three more coal mines.

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