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Marine Martirosyan

Six Kapan Metallurgy Kombinat Employees Declare Hunger Strike; Demand Pay Increase

Chanting “We are the owners of our mine” and “We are the owners of the bowels of the earth”, striking miners of the Kapan Metallurgy Kombinat today marched on the Kapan Municipal Building and the Syunik Provincial Governor’s Office to press home their demand for a pay increase.

For the past few days, Kombinat employees have been on strike, demanding a 40% pay increase and safer working conditions, despite a threat made by company director Dmitry Ushkov to fire them if they don’t accept a 5% wage hike and return to work.

The striking miners then returned to the Kombinat and met with Ushkov who repeated the threat to fire them.

One of the employees, who wished to remain anonymous, told Hetq that six miners have gone on hunger strike.

The employee said that the work strike would continue.

He and others had just taken water, blankets and flash lights to the six on hunger strike in the mine.

A representative from the PolyMetal Group, the company which owns the Kapan Metallurgy Kombinat, is scheduled to arrive in Kapan from Russia tomorrow.

Video footage provided by Armen Parsadanyan