The miners of Karaganda have halted their strike for the moment. Those who occupied the pits have come to the surface. There has been a decision agreed through a special court to suspend the action as the life and health of the strikers underground were in danger. Negotiations are continuing.
A big victory has also been that the authorities have withdrawn their threat to prosecute the activists. They had begun a lawsuit against the strikers for criminal liability but that has been withdrawn. The management still think they can deceive the workers by paying an immediate wage increase of 30% and monthly premiums based on average earnings. There is a long way to go to get the full claim realised, but one victory is already in the bag!
The strikers really feel all this is very much due to the expressions of solidarity from around the world, organised by the Committee for a Workers’ International and Campaign Kazakhstan. They send a “very big thank you” to all their supporters.
But this is not the end of the struggle in Kazakhstan. The heroic action of the Karaganda miners in their battle with the multi-billionaire, Lakshmi Mittal, and the Nazarbayev government got enormous support from all around the huge country of Kazakhstan. Numerous messages of support came to them via social media from other workers in industry and from young people who are worried for their future. They see thousands of workers standing up for their rights and it is inspiring.
The aging dictator, Nazarbayev, must be unnerved by this action and concerned for his own future. No doubt more support will be called for to fight this battle to the end.
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