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IRKUTSK, Russia -- Dozens of laid-off workers from the Baikal paper mill in the south-central Siberian city of Irkutsk have demonstrated in front of the regional government building, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

A high-level Irkutsk Oblast official met with the protesters, which included many of the former employees who are in the first week of a hunger strike.

Recent layoffs at the plant put more than 2,000 workers at the facility out of work.

On June 2, more than 60 laid-off workers began a hunger strike to demand the back wages still owed to them.

A former mill worker, Tatyana Pashkova, told RFE/RL that three hunger strikers have been hospitalized.
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