Moscow, 17 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The deputy head of the Russian Coal Miners' Union says the union is planning a conference today in the Rostov region to discuss the ongoing miners' strike over unpaid wages.
Ivan Mokhnachuk says striking workers are concentrated in the regions of Tula and Rostov. Miners in Rostov, in particular, have turned the strike into a political protest, demanding the resignation of the government.
Roughly one-third of Russia's coal pits were closed yesterday. The press service of the state coal company Rosugol said some 85,000 miners at 59 pits are still on strike.
Last week, Moscow promised to pay almost $400 million in back wages by the end of the year.