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MinersТ demands should be satisfied

Statement by the YABLOKO party
May 17, 2010

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses solidarity with the miners of Kuzbass. We are prepared to provide informational and other support to the present minersТ trade unions and the initiative groups aiming to create new civil society structures for protection of workers' rights.

There is only one way to prevent a social outburst which is attention to the workersТ demands and respect to the activists representing their interests.

Expect that the OMON special police will be able to deter public discontent can be compared with putting out a fire with petrol.

Mass-scale actions with unpredictable consequences are not being prepared by some mysterious forces, they are caused by irresponsible business and those representatives of the authorities who do nothing for organisation of a civilised dialogue between the owners of the miners and the workers while announcing without any hesitation and in the absence of any investigation that all the participants of these spontaneous actions drunken hooligans.

This leaves only one form of protest for the people - an action of despair. We should also realise that the miner's demands of higher wages are not a manifestation of their dependency or populism of their leaders, this is an objective consequence of the real situation when people have to daily risk their lives so that to provide a living for the family. The owners of the mines virtually make miners violate the safety requirements, because in the opposite case they will get only a scanty benefit instead of a wage.

Everyone knows this, mass media also write and speak about this after each tragedy at the mines, however no changes follow.

This problem can be solved only via a dialogue with the workers. Russian large business treating independent trade unions like enemies will no go for such a dialogue, therefore, creation of conditions for such a dialogue should become a direct responsibility of the authorities of all levels.

Miners have the right to fight for safe working conditions and decent living. The state must make a radical revision of the labour law and change its attitude to the regulators that have to control implementation of the law.

We are calling President of Russia to create a special commission for examination of the justified claims of the miners and development of social support measures for their families from the federal budget.

Sergei Mitrokhin,
Chair of the YABLOKO party


See also:

Sergei MitrokhinТs condolences on the tragedy at the Raspadskaya mine. May 12, 2010.

Human Rights

May 17, 2010