Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
4th January, 2016
The miners working the mines of the Lviv-Volyn basin began the new year with strikes due to the months-long wage arrears backlogged in 2015.
On Monday, 4th January, the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine stated that the state budget for 2016 pledged 500 million ($20 million) for repayment of the salary debt to coal miners and promised after the issue the documentation has been completed, the paying of salaries will commence.
"In the last days of last year the State budget of Ukraine for 2016 had the possibility to use UAH 500 mln. on the repayment of debts of coal-mining enterprises. For this purpose it is necessary as soon as possible to prepare the appropriate documentation for the work conducted since the first days of the year. As soon as the relevant documentation is prepared and coordinated with other agencies, the funds will flow to the enterprises", — stated the message on the official website of the Ministry.
Officials advised the miners to work more efficiently and increase coal production, so that the mine can begin to finally break even. However, they did not say how to do it using morally and physically obsolete equipment, which is long due to be converted to scrap metal, a process that was promised to be completed last year.