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Striking Kazakh Gold Miners Win Pay Hikes


BESTOBE, Kazakhstan -- Gold miners in Kazakhstan’s northern town of Bestobe have been granted their primary demand on the first day of their strike for higher wages.

The mayor of the district capital Stepnogorsk, Andrei Nikishov, said the leadership of the KazakhAltyn company agreed on May 29 to raise the salaries of the striking workers by 30-35 percent.

A KazakhAltyn spokeswoman told RFE/RL that the workers resumed their work shortly after the agreement, within hours of when they launched their stoppage.

Earlier this month, workers at leading Kazakh copper producer KazakhMys successfully concluded a two-day strike after the company agreed to double their salaries.

A strike and sit-in by oil workers with similar grievances in Zhanaozen continued for several months last year and ended with a crackdown by police in December that left at least 16 people dead.

With additional reporting by Interfax
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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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