Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 10

Coal miners throughout Kemerovo Oblast held a one-day warning strike yesterday to protest wage arrears of up to 13 months and to call for greater state support for their beleaguered industry. Union officials said that work stopped in all 54 working pits in the region, with miners refusing to come to the surface after the night shift, thereby preventing the morning shift from starting work. The picture painted by the unions was disputed, however, by Oblast governor Aman Tuleev, who said that only half the pits in the region were affected by the strike. Tuleev described the strike as "utter madness," saying it would hurt the miners more than their state-controlled employer. Both sides agreed, however, that the protest passed off peacefully and that work had returned to normal by the second shift of the day. Miners in Khakassia struck in sympathy. A government commission is expected in Kemerovo on January 19, but Tuleev said he thought that only a personal meeting between himself and President Yeltsin would really get results and ward off a full-scale strike by desperate miners. (RTR, January 15)