Monday, May 07, 2012 -
Hundreds of Kazakh miners striking underground for three days returned to the surface on Sunday when their bosses at copper company Kazakhmys acquiesced to their pay demands.
“The labor dispute at the Annensky mine is over. The mine is returning to work,” Kazakhmys said, according to the Reuters news agency.
Problems for the company began Friday when underground workers refused to leave the mine. News of their protest prompted around 300 other miners to descend into the Annensky mine.
Along with the promise of higher pay, Kazakhmys promised that the strikers would not face any disciplinary action.
Pay raise figures were not disclosed. The company’s miners earn around $1,620 per month, around three times the average wage in Kazakhstan.
The company implemented a performance-based special bonus system in February 2011 that could result in increasing wage packages up to 15 percent, Kazakhmys said.
Salaries across-the-board rose by 20 percent on average in 2010, it said.
The firm, one of the world’s largest copper miners, operates six underground mines and an open pit around the city of Zhezkazgan, located in the center of the country.