As for today morning, 15 miners of mine named after G.G. Kapustin PJSC " Lisichanskvugillia" (Pryvillia town, Luhansk region) are still protesting underground. It’s a 13 day of their underground protest. Miners demand the payment of wages for the period from June to September 2018 and for some months of 2015-2017 years. Yesterday miners’ protests over unpaid wages were held in Lysychansk (Luhansk region) and Novovolynsk (Volyn region). The representatives of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine stage solidarity action in Kryvyi Rih. The miners of mine named after G.G. Kapustin and the NPGU received solidarity letters from IndustriAll Global Union and trade union organization from different countries.
On 29 October the Chairperson of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) and the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) Mykhailo Volynets visited the mine named after G.G. Kapustin PJSC " Lysychanskvugillia". He went down into the mine and talked with protesters. The representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry and the management of the enterprise also visited miners that are protesting for 12 days.
“These miners show genuine courage and integrity during their struggle for justice and fair payment. But I deeply concerned about their health and lives. During my stay underground in the mine, I talked with them and I couldn't help noticing how exhausted and tired they were. Some miners seemed to have health problems. The air atmosphere and air humidity in mine are also a point of concern. The miners are in dangerous conditions at a depth of 600 meters. They also faced the psychological pressure. These people work in such extremely difficult and dangerous conditions, but their wages aren’t high. For example, miners of main professions receive 8-9 thousand UAH (250-280EUR). At the same time, miners haven't been paid this money. I do not know how long miners are going to hold their protest underground. But we’ve discussed some decisions on the protest actions’ – said Mykhailo Volynets.
Mykhailo Volynets (first on the left) with the MP Serhii Kaplin, the Chairperson of the local organization of NPGU Eduard Vsevolodskyi and representative of the Ombudsman Pavlo Lysnanskyi in the mine named after G. Kapustin of the PJSC "Lysychanskvugillia"
On 30 October the Chairperson of NPGU Mykhailo Volynets joined the miners’ protest action over unpaid wages in Lysychansk. Today he is going to come back to Kyiv and together with MPs, representatives of NGOs try to meet with representatives of authorities to solve the coal miners' problems. Also, Mykhailo Volynets informed the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko called him yesterday and confirm him that he'd appealed to the Government on the situation in the coal industry. Also, the President of Ukraine offered the Chairperson of NPGU to meet in Kyiv for deeper discussion.
Mykhailo Volynets told that today Serhii Kaplin the member of the Ukrainian Parliament went up from mine after 4 days stay underground. The MP also is going to come back to Kyiv and do everything possible to help miners to get their wages.
“As for 30 of October, the wage arrears at state coal-mining enterprises is amounted up to 685 million UAH. On 1st November the total debt can increase up to 1,2 billion UAH as it’ll be a time for paying wages for October. The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) and its branch organization the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) are deeply concerned about the situation of the state-owned PJSC "Lysychanskvugillia" (Luhansk region) where miners have been protesting since 19th of October. Especial we worried about the miner’s state of health and safety. At the same time, the NPGU is concerned about the situation of other state-owned coal-mining enterprises where miners haven’t received their wages” - said Mykhailo Volynets.
The Chairperson of the NPGU expressed gratitude to the Industrial Global Union and trade union organization from different countries for their solidarity letters and support.
As NPGU informed before, on 19 October the 33 miners of the mine named after G. Kapustin of the PJSC "Lysychanskvugillia" refused to go up and started to protest underground. They demanded the payment of wages for the period from June to September 2018 and for some months of 2015-2017 years.
During the protest in unhealthy and dangerous conditions miners’ states of health deteriorated. In particular, 31 years old miner Oleksandr Cherkasov fainted several times, another miner had a nervous breakdown. All miners were taken to the hospital. Also, some miners had to stop their protest for family reasons.
On 27th of October, a rockslide happened near the area where miners of the mine named after G. Kapustin are holding their protest. At that moment 16 miners and one member of the Ukrainian Parliament were underground. Despite this incident and health problems miners are continuing their protest and refuse to go up to the surface until all wages will be paid off.
“The state of health of protesters deteriorates. 25-year-old miner Victor Samatei has just been taken to the surface because of pneumonia that he had got after living eleven days underground.’ – Mykhailo Volynets informed on 29 of October.