Tuesday, May 29, 2012 -
Gold miners in northern Kazakhstan struck it lucky Monday when their bosses agreed to jack-up pay rates within the first day of their strike.
Workers at the gold mine in the town of Bestobe, located close to the Kazakh-Russian border stopped work earlier in the day demanding substantially higher wages.
Within hours, the management of KazakhAltyn gold mining company agreed to increase the size of their pay packets by 30-40 percent.
The decision of the firm, a subsidiary of privately-owned Russian miner KazakhGold, was announced by Andrei Nikishov, mayor of district capital Stepnogorsk, which is located in Kostanay province.
The workers returned to work soon after the agreement, a KazakhAltyn spokeswoman told Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
The industrial action came in the wake of similar action taken by workers of the copper mining giant Kazakhmys earlier in May. Their two-day strike led to a doubling of salary levels.
Authorities in Kazakhstan have been keen to take notice of demands by workers after a months-long protest last year led to bloody violence in late 2011 that shook the top political leadership.
At least 16 people were killed in a police crackdown on December 16 against a protest by sacked oil workers in the Caspian Sea province of Mangistau.
The event that took place on the country’s 20th Independence Day anniversary prompted Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to fire his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev and several company heads. The Kazakh leader severely reprimanded state bosses for distancing themselves from ordinary citizens and launched a program to slim down the number of management positions.