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Russian Chemical Plant Workers Strike Over Wage Arrears

Industrially manufactured boron is used in the production of bleaches and semiconductors.
DALNEGORSK, Russia -- Some 150 workers at a boron-producing plant in Russia's Far East have gone on strike to demand their unpaid salaries, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The workers at the Dalnegorsk plant, one of the world's leading producers of boric acid and boron, went on strike on September 28.

The strikers also want the federal authorities to intervene and nationalize the plant, which is the major employer for the town's population of 50,000.

The plant's 3,000-strong workforce has staged numerous protests, strikes and pickets over the past two years to demand overdue salaries and that the plant not be closed.

Sergei Matveyev, the leader of the plant's labor unions, told RFE/RL that the plant's administration owes the workers some 21 million rubles ($661,000). He added that the workers have been urging the ruling United Russia party, to which some members of the plant's management belong, to take the situation under its control and resolve the workers' problems, but without success.

Matveyev said the workers are ready to begin a hunger strike.

Read more in Russian here