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Date: Wed, 17 Dec 97 10:34:58 CST
From: "Workers World" <>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Workers around the world: 12/18/97
Via Workers World News Service

Ukraine miners strike

Workers World, 18 December 1997

Over 15,000 miners went on strike across the Ukraine on Dec. 3 to protest unpaid wages. The strike shut down five mines in the eastern Donetsk region and two in the western Lvib region.

"The government owes us more than eight months of back pay," charged union leader Mikhailo Volyniets. The union also demanded improved working conditions, with 239 miners killed on the job in 1997.

The strike comes as the Ukrainian government is preparing drastic cuts in mining for 1998. The draft budget calls for a 25-percent cut in funding to the coal sector.

"Coal is not profitable," one senior government official told the AFP news agency.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of workers in the former socialist country have been forced to go for months without pay.