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Copper Miners In Kazakhstan Refuse To Leave Mine, Demand Higher Wages

ZHEZQAZGHAN, Kazakhstan -- Dozens of copper miners in Kazakhstan's central region of Qaraghandy are refusing to come up onto the surface, demanding wage increases.

Activists from a labor advocacy organization in the city of Zhezqazghan told RFE/RL that the striking miners went underground in the mine on November 29 and refused to be lifted out on November 30.

Activists posted a photograph of the miners in a tunnel on Facebook, along with a sheet of paper showing their demands.

The demands include a 70 percent salary increase, better pensions, and free access to education and holiday resorts.

The miners are also demanding a meeting with the chief of the company that owns the mine, Kazakh copper giant KazakhMys, Eduard Ogai.

KazakhMys representatives told RFE/RL that the company was checking reports of the strike and would issue a statement later.

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