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Coal Miners End Strike In Central Kazakhstan

Mittal Steel Temirtau is among the largest integrated steel plants in the world (RFE/RL) October 5, 2006 -- Coal miners in central Kazakhstan have reportedly resumed work after a subsidiary of the world's leading steel producer, Arcelor Mittal, agreed to raise their wages.

Trade-union leader Vyacheslav Sidorov said today in the coal-mining town of Shakhtinsk that work at all eight coal mines operated by Mittal Steel Temirtau have resumed.

However, he admitted that not all miners were satisfied with the salary agreement reached on October 4.

Sidorov said some 300 workers earlier today picketed Shakhtinsk's main administrative building to press for more demands.

Other reports indicate as well that the protest movement is not quite over.

Average monthly wages for miners will double to 90,000 ($700) tenges from current levels of 45,000 tenges, effective from October 1, regional officials said after the talks on October 4.

The mining strike started on September 25, five days after a gas explosion killed 41 workers at a Mittal Steel Temirtau coal mine.

Arcelor Mittal says the strike led to a 30 percent decline in daily production at its regional steel mill.

Steelworkers at the same plant, who had demonstrated for a 40 percent wage hike, will get a 20 percent raise in a separate deal reached on October 3.

(Interfax-Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Today,

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Central Asia In Focus

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