On 15 December, about 400 coal miners willingly raised to the surface, following the court’s decision of Shakhtinsk of the suspension of the strike. Earlier, 154 miners raised to the surface after the meeting with the governor of the Karaganda region on 13 December, another 100 miners came up from the pit on 14 December.
The workers demanded 100 per cent increase of their wages, early retirement in 50 years and better working conditions. The management of ArcelorMittal Temirtau agreed for 30 per cent salary increase for all underground workers. This decision was made during the telephone conversation between Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and Lakshmi Mittal, owner of ArcelorMittal Temirtau.
The Mineworkers’ Union Korgau which is affiliated to IndustriALL through the Trade Union of Mining & Metallurgy Workers of Republic of Kazakhstan negotiated for the conclusion of an agreement on 20 per cent salary increase in the begining of November. Now it is cancelled and the new one contains 30 per cent salary increase.
The percentage increase in wages for ground workers will be further discussed by a special commission. It includes members of the initiative groups, representatives of trade union committees, prosecutor’s office, directors of mines, regional administration and the company management.
Besides, all employees of the coal department of the company will be paid a lump sum award in the amount of monthly salary.
A few miners received court summons for their participation in the strike. ArcelorMittal Temirtau stated in a letter to the regional prosecutor that it will not seek to dismiss or prosecute the workers who struck, and that it will withdraw on 15 December the lawsuits against the workers.
IndustriALL’s general secretary, Valter Sanches, stated:
”IndustriALL Global Union is pleased at ArcelorMittal’s commitment to not dismiss or prosecute the workers for striking. We call on the Government of Kazakhstan to likewise agree not to retaliate against the workers and to encourage peaceful social dialog until all issues are resolved.”
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