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Kazakh Oil Workers End Strike

Striking workers in Zhanaozen
Striking workers in Zhanaozen
ZHANAOZEN -- Oil workers in the southwestern Kazakh town of Zhanaozen have ended a strike they began two weeks ago, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Several thousand employees of the OzenMunaiGaz Company had been on strike since March 4. They had demanded the annulling of a change in the workers' pay scale, which they say reduced their wages; cuts in the annual production target; and the resignation of OzenMunaiGaz's director.

That last demand was met on March 16, when OzenMunaiGaz head Baqytqali Biseken was fired.

Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGaz energy giant, of which OzenMunaiGaz is a subsidiary, announced today that the conciliation commission that was set up earlier this week has reached an agreement acceptable to all parties.

On March 18, one of the strikers died of high blood pressure and a second was hospitalized.