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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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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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