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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian Miners Strike Over Wages

KIEV -- Workers at some 20 mines across Ukraine launched a strike Monday to press for back wages and better work conditions, union leaders said.

Mykhailo Volynets, chairman of the Independent Miners' Union, reported strikes at numerous mines in the Lviv, Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Workers at other mines were holding meetings and were expected to join the strike, he said, according to Interfax.

The miners are demanding back wages for the past 10 months, totaling some 2.1 billion hryvna ($1.05 billion), as well as wage and pension increases, Volynets said.

However, Ukraine's largest miners' association, the Coal Industry Workers' Union, does not support the strike, saying it would pass unnoticed while the new parliament prepares to take office later this month, Interfax said.

Ukrainian coal mines have been plagued by salary delays and poor work and safety conditions for a long time. At least 157 coal workers have died on the job so far this year, according to the Coal Industry Ministry.