A series of miners’ strikes in the self-proclaimed “Lugansk People’s Republic” (the rejected former Lugansk region of Ukraine) began in the second half of April. The reason was not the payment by the miners of wage arrears for March and April, which the mine owners repeatedly promised to pay. The promise – to pay the rest of the debt until May 15, – the leaders did not pay, and recently, on June 5, a strike began at the Komsomolskaya mine. Two shifts of miners refuse to come to the surface from the mine until the management pays them salary arrears.

Around the same time, another redistribution of property took place in the Anthracite region of the LPR, as a result of which the Komsomolskaya mine was transferred from the ownership of VTS (headed by the oligarch Kurchenko) to state ownership, namely, to the new Vostok-Ugol organization. The fact that the new owners of the mine reorganized it did not change anything for the miners themselves. Therefore, the miners decided to continue the fight.

Vladimir Shatokhin, the manager of the Komsomolskaya mine, went down to the mine to talk with the strikers, but this conversation did not make it clear to the workers whether they would be paid the earned money so that their families could continue to live. Moreover, it seemed to the miners that V. Shatokhin was mocking the beggarly conditions of their families: he said that their mine was a ballast, since a lot of money had to be invested in it in order to become profitable. In the end, he advised the miners to “tolerate a little”, and promised to pay off wage arrears as the budget was filled. Moreover, at the beginning of the conversation, he stated that the amount of debts was huge, and now the mine management simply does not have that kind of money. Naturally, such a groundless conversation with the mine manager did not stop the underground protest.

On June 6, 150 miners took part in the strike, demanding full repayment of debts to all employees of the enterprise. The owners of the mine did not make any concessions, but there were unequivocal threats to fire 130 people who were on strike, while continuing to remain inside the mine, underground. In any case, the miner knows that the management has a list with 130 of the 150 names of the miners participating in the protest.

On the morning of June 7, communication with the miners disappeared, and in Antratsy district traffic was restricted and mobile communications were disconnected, as local authorities told the population of the district in connection with quarantine. However, this strange quarantine was supplemented by the arrival to the village of Gornyak (or Dubovsky) by representatives of the state security of the LPR, who, since June 5, have conducted interrogations of miners and their families in order to “identify the instigators of the protest.” Two detained miners were sent to the district center of the Lugansk Republic – to Anthracite, and at the moment no one, including the chairman of the mine trade union Georgy Chernetsov, knows anything about them.

On this photo the third working shift is sitting in the hall to support the second shift that is striking under the ground

At present, we know that at the entrance to the village of Gornyak there is a militarized checkpoint, as well as that mobile communications are disabled in the Anthracite district of the Luhansk region, and Whatsapp and Viber applications do not work either.

P.S. On the morning of June 9, the LPR authorities took the most barbaric measures: The power supply was cut off at the Komsomolskaya mine. Drainage and ventilation do not work. At the same time, 119 people are in the mine today!…

Fearing for their own benefit, the republic’s authorities decided to forcibly stop the strike, which raises the urgent need for maximum solidarity with workers fighting for their rights!
Say no to voluntarism and police abuse!
Say yes to the solidarity of the working people!

Editorial office “Worker Control”

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