Confederation of the Free Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine is resuming the actions of protests over arears of wages, Mikhail Volynets , the leader of the Confederation, told reporters today, on April 28.
He said they officially applied for a permission to hold the meeting of the Confederation’s Council in the building of the Ministry of Energy and Coal yet on Friday. "We have traditionally met there for many years already. However, we were not let in today allegedly for not submitting the list of the participants in time. We will hold our meeting here, outside the building now," Volynets said.
He said representatives of miners – members of the Confederation will be participating in the protests, as miners are not in Kiev now. “We are going to call them back on Friday. People appealed to us. Yet last week, Maxim Timchenko, Chief Executive Officer of DTEK (energy company), asked us to relieve pressure and sit at a negotiating table with the authorities,” he said. Volynets believes the Confederation’s decision to relieve pressure was untimely, as the Council members were not let into the Ministry building.
Earlier Volynets said the authorities try to blacken the miners in the eyes of the Kiev residents. Many central mass media post compromising “dirty” information on the web. They say, for instance, that miners are paid to come to Kiev, and their rallies litter the Mariyinsky Park etc. Volynets said they use any arguments to discredit miners and overshadow the problem with arears of wages.
The state coal companies have 700 million hryvnias (over $30 million) arrears of wages to miners. “As miners start demanding the government to pay their salaries, they immediately remember the DTEK or other issues to overshadow the problem of arrears,” he said.
Volynets said they will not yield to information provocations. He said ordinary citizens approach him in the street and express their support to miners.
Valery Mamchenko, the deputy head of the Trade Union of Coal Industry Workers , said earlier there are still pending problems in the field, the Government has provided no budget financing, with the plans to close the mines being left unchanged. He thinks the protest actions will continue not only in the capital city but also outside it.