Russian coal miners are in the second day of a nationwide strike for unpaid wages. Vitaly Budko, leader of the Russian Independent Trade Union of Coal Industry Workers, said yesterday that about 400,000 of the industry’s 560,000 workers were on strike in 181 of Russia’s 258 mines. Today’s figure includes 100,000 miners in the Kuzbass. President Boris Yeltsin called yesterday for emergency measures to settle the strike, and said he might dispatch Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to the Kuzbass. Miners say the government owes them the equivalent of $472 million in back pay. In some places, miners are making political demands. They say that all of their previous efforts to get their wages have come to naught and that now only the dismissal of the government can bring them relief. (Interfax, AP, Reuters, December 3; BBC, December 4)
Saratov Establishes Security Council.