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Mittal strikes deal with coal miners, offers 20 percent pay raise to protesting steel workers in Kazakhstan

Mittal strikes deal with coal miners, offers 20 percent pay raise to protesting steel workers in Kazakhstan

Mittal Steel NV struck a more than 3-fold pay raise deal with striking coal miners and separately offered a 20 percent pay raise to metal workers at its giant Temirtau mill in Kazakhstan, the company's CEO in the Central Asian country said Wednesday.
Mittal Steel Temirtau CEO Narendra Choudhary said that coal miners' new wages would be effective from Oct. 1. The offer was announced at a meeting with miners, who received it with applause.
Choudhary said earlier Wednesday that the management made a separate offer to steelworkers to raise their wages by 20 percent raise from Oct. 1, and by another 10 percent from Feb. 1.
Coal miners had been striking for the eighth day _ a protest triggered by the death of 41 miners in a methane gas explosion last month.
Steelworkers, who have been holding talks with the management over wages for two months demanding a 40 percent raise, were likely to accept the offer, according to trade union leader Vladimir Dudnik. He said that a decision on the offer would be made at a trade unions' congress that would be held in the next few days.
More than 6,000 metal and coal workers rallied Saturday to press for their demands in Temirtau, in central Karaganda region, the ex-Soviet republic's industrial heartland.
Choudhary also said Wednesday that the company would allocate as much money as needed to improve safety at mines and urged miners to return to work.
The management said Tuesday that the miners' strike has led to a 30 percent decline in daily steel output. They said the decrease had not affected customers because it was offset by production increases in other countries where Mittal operates, such as Poland and Romania.
Workers have long alleged that Mittal, which runs 61 plants in 27 countries, has done little to improve labor and safety conditions since taking over Kazakhstan's largest metal factory and the mines that fuel it 11 years ago.
Steelworkers' wages average US$300 (euro237) a month. Miners are paid an average of US$350 (euro276) a month.


Updated : 2021-04-21 11:31 GMT+08:00