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Kazakh Salt Miners Stage Hunger Strike

18 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Hundred of employees have gone on strike at a salt factory in southwestern Kazakhstan in support of nine colleagues who had been sentenced to jail for staging a hunger strike.

The opposition movement For a Fair Kazakhstan said in a statement that 800 employees had joined the strike at the Araltuz factory in the Aral region.

The statement added that 88 people had joined the hunger strike, which began on 5 August. On 16 August, a court in Aral sentenced nine of them to up to 10 days in jail.

The employees are demanding implementation of a 2003 agreement on salary raises and a review of the way the business was privatized, saying that the price was too low.

(RFE/RL's Kazakh Service/AFP)