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Workers At Kazakh Pipeline Firm End Strike After Promise Of Salary Raise

Workers decided to stop the strike after management promised salary increases of up to 50 percent.

AQSAI, Kazakhstan -- Striking workers at an oil and natural-gas pipeline producing company in western Kazakhstan have been promised a salary increase by the firm's management.

Hundreds of workers of the KKS-SICIM company in the West Kazakhstan region launched a strike in the early morning hours of February 7.

The company’s executive director, Altyn Qulbaeva told RFE/RL the strike lasted for three hours.

She said workers decided to stop the strike after management promised salary increases of up to 50 percent.

Strikes by workers in Kazakhstan's oil, copper, and coal industries have become frequent in recent years.

In May 2018, dozens of workers at the firm Kazpromlogistic received pay raises after going on strike. That firm maintains oil pipelines in Kazakhstan's western region of Manghystau.

In January 2017, hundreds of workers at the Oil Construction Company (OCC) held a two-week strike to protest the closure of a trade union alliance.

Oil and natural gas revenues are crucial for Kazakhstan's economy and budget. President Nursultan Nazarbaev's government tolerates little dissent.

Critics say the government has been subjecting labor unions to pressure since deadly protests staged by oil workers in western Kazakhstan in 2011.

After a months-long protest in 2011, at least 16 striking workers in the town of Zhanaozen were killed by police who opened fire on their demonstration.

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