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VostGOK workers blocked three highways protesting against non-payment of wages

Mining industry / Ukraine

Miners blocked three roads of national importance in protest against the suspension of uranium mines and non-payment of wages.

VostGOK workers blocked three highways protesting against non-payment of wages
Фото: Горняки ВостГОК перекрыли автотрассу / М.Волынец / Фейсбук

In the Kirovograd region, the protest action of the workers of the Smolinskoe, Novokonstantinovskaya and Ingulskaya mines, which produce uranium ore, continues at the Zheltovodsky site.

"The state enterprise" VostGOK "has been put into idle mode, 5,000 people may remain on the street," said Mikhail Volynets, chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine.

The protesters appeal to the Ukrainian authorities with two demands: to pay off UAH 143 million in wage arrears and to ensure the sustainable operation of the structural units of the VostGOK uranium mines.

The miners blocked three highways: Kropyvnytskyi-Kiev, Kropyvnytsky-Nikolaev and Kropyvnytsky-Kryvyi Rih. Only ambulances, cars with children and the elderly, minibuses and intercity services are allowed in.

Previously, the administration of the Vostochny Ore Mining and Processing Plant, the only enterprise in Ukraine that ensures the extraction of natural uranium and the production of its oxide concentrate, announced about the coordination of key issues with the State Executive Service on unblocking the plant's accounts and paying off wage arrears by November 30.

However, already on December 7, the enterprise brought the Smolinskaya, Ingulskaya and Novokonstantinovskaya mines to a simple mine. The trade union said that the suspension of the work of the mines will lead to the bankruptcy of the state enterprise "VostGOK" in early 2021, as well as to an environmental disaster in the region.

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