KIEV, December 12. /TASS/. Miners in Ukraine’s western Lvov Region, insisting on their back pay, are threatening to block the border with Poland, if their demands are not met, Head of the Independent Trade Union of Ukraine’s Miners, Mikhail Volynets, told TASS on Wednesday.
"Seventy-eight miners from the Lvovugol state-run enterprise’s Lesnaya mine remaining at a depth of 540 meters are pressing for their wage arrears to be paid and for numerous problems in the industry to be solved. However, they do not believe that their voices will be heard, so they intend to block the border crossing with Poland near Rava-Russkaya," he said.
According to Volynets, last night ten of the miners who took part in the protest were brought to the surface because of health problems. Mineworkers from all four shifts supporting their colleagues are in the mine around the clock.
He recalled that the laborers want their back pay for November and October to be reimbursed. "The miners loaded the coal, but, instead of wages, they got arrears, because Energy Minister Igor Nasalik earmarked 240 mln hryvnia ($8.6 mln) that the miners had earned for other purposes," he emphasized.
The workers began their protest on December 10. They are going to hold a rally in the regional center Chervonograd on Wednesday. Later in the day, a group of activists is expected to meet with Vice Prime Minister Vladimir Kistion in Kiev.
In November, the miners picketed the Lvov Regional Administration demanding back pay and timely payment of wages. After that, the government earmarked 500 mln hryvnia ($17.9 mln) for wages. In the second half of November, the protesting miners blocked two sections of the Lvov-Rava-Russkaya highway.