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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Miner Strike Eases, Says Government

A walkout by coal miners nationwide appeared to ease Friday. However, thousands of miners remained off the job.

On Friday, the Russian coal company Rosugol said the number of mines on strike was down to 109 from 132 the previous day and all miners were back on the job in several regions, Interfax reported. Union leaders, however, said 15 more mines joined the walkout on Friday.

Rosugol managers said they expected the strike to end Monday. But Itar-Tass said union leaders, who were meeting Saturday to decide on their next step, would not rule out extending it.

The miners were on strike for a fourth day, demanding not just back pay but a solution to the frequent pay delays. Joined in some regions by teachers and other workers, their union leaders were unswayed by government promises Thursday that money was on the way.

President Boris Yeltsin, recuperating from heart surgery last month, met Friday with the head of the Federation Council, which also is pressuring the government to pay back pensions and wages.

Yeltsin told Yegor Stroyev that when he returns to the Kremlin later this month he would personally see that such payments are made, presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said.