Belaruskali miner chains himself in a mine; he demands new elections and higher wages

by ganna
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Today, after his night shift, Alexander Kurban, a miner at the OJSC “Belaruskali”, has refused to rise to the surface until his demands were met. The man works as an explosion foreman at the 4th Belaruskali mining branch. An ambulance was called to the venue; and branch bosses went down into the mine. Earlier in September, two miners also refused to rise to the surface until their demands were met; one of them is Yuri Korzun, who is now serving his 15 days of administrative arrest, the TUT.BY reports.

At about 9:15 a.m., the Belaruskali strike committee reported that Alexander Kurban was lifted to the surface; he was taken to the neuropsychiatric dispensary, where he was examined by doctors; and after a while he was released. Members of the strike committee came to the dispensary to support him. Among them was also Oleg Kudelka, a miner, who had earlier also refused to rise to the surface after the night shift until his demands were met.

“After my working shift, I chained myself to the railing by used the lock that I had with me. I chose a safe place, where miners are waiting for the cage to be lifted up,” Alexander told the TUT.BY. “I conveyed through my colleagues that I would stay here until my demands were met. Then, five persons went down to pick me up.”

The miner intends to join the strike committee. His demands included increasing the wages up to the level commensurate to the severity of job and working conditions, to provide workers with serviceable and suitable tools, to stop putting pressure on workers and the independent trade union, and to cancel the decision to dismiss workers who are in the strike committee.

“The Director General of the Belaruskali, as a Senator (member of the upper Parliament Chamber) from the Minsk Region, should inform the country’s top leadership of the position of the labour collective. Namely: to appoint new and fair elections, release all political prisoners, and stop beating civilians,” says one of Alexander’s demands.

In his opinion, the current political situation in the country has dealt a serious psychological and moral blow to the labour collective.

“Many have also suffered from law enforcers’ actions, both morally and physically. Our company bosses failed in any way contribute to the improvement of the labour collective’s morale,” Alexander Kurban said in his appeal. “On the contrary, they apply sanctions and intimidation of those who disagree with the falsified election outcomes and the harsh suppression of peaceful protests.”

Earlier, on September 10, Yuri Korzun, another Belaruskali miner, handcuffed himself to the mining equipment in the mine, and later joined the strike committee. On September 21, after his night shift, his colleague, Oleg Kudelka, refused to rise to the surface until his demands were met.

On October 6, Yuri Korzun was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest. He, like several other workers, was detained on October 3 in Soligorsk in the Four Elements Park, where people gathered for having “a cup of tea”.

Let us remind you that in the morning on August 17, Belaruskali workers went on strike, and then repeated it on August 18. After that, the bulk of the workers went to work, while others continued the strike. About 20 people are still in the strike committee.

Earlier, on September 11, the Minsk Regional Court declared the Belaruskali strike illegal. Let us remind you that among the demands of the workers on strike, as well as now of the strike committee was the release of all political prisoners, resignation of Alexander Lukashenko and holding new elections.