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Miners' Strike Broadens in Russian Far East

Artyom, Russia; July 24 (RFE/RL) -- Another 500 miners walked off the job in Russia's Far East today, joining thousands of co-workers who began a strike yesterday.

Itar-Tass news agency says 500 miners walked off the job at the Primorskaya mine in the town of Artyom. They are demanding payment of unpaid back wages and join 3,000 striking miners in the neighboring town of Partizansk.

The chairman of the coal miners' trade union, Pyotr Kiryasov, warned that if the miners are not paid their wages soon, the whole coal mining industry in the region could come to a standstill.

"Miners' families are going hungry and therefore the miners intend to strike until their demands are fully satisfied," said Kiryasov.