On Wednesday, 15 October, Belaruskali miner Alexander Kurban refused to rise to the surface until his demands were met. The man works as a blaster at the 4th mine department. An ambulance went to the site, and the management of the mine, where the incident occurred, went down into the mine. In early September, two miners also refused to rise to the surface until their demands were met, one of them is Yuri Korzun. He is now serving 15 days of administrative arrest.
After a night shift, Alexander Kurban remained in the mine. Soon after the incident happened, the management of the mine got underground. At about 9.15 am, the strike committee reported that Alexander Kurban was lifted up to the surface. The man was taken to a neuropsychiatric dispensary, where he was examined by doctors, and after a while he was released.
Member of the strike committee came to the medical facility to support him. Among them was also Oleg Kudelka, who earlier also refused to rise to the surface after a night shift until his demands were met.
“After the shift, I chained myself to the railing, used the lock that I had. I chose a safe place where the miners are waiting for the cage to be lifted up,” said Alexander. “I conveyed through colleagues that I will stay here until my demands are met. Five people went underground looking for me.”
The miner intends to join the strike committee of the enterprise. Alexander Kurban earlier sent a note to the strike committee that he would remain underground until his demands were met. Among them are:
- to raise wages at the enterprise according to difficulty of work and working conditions,
- to provide workers with serviceable and suitable tools,
- to stop putting pressure on workers and the independent trade union,
- to cancel the decision on dismissal of members of the strike committee.
“The General Director, as a senator of the Minsk region, should inform the country’s top leadership of the position of the labor collective. Namely: to hold new and fair elections, to release all political prisoners, to stop beating of civilians,” the list of demands reads.
According to Alexander, the current political situation in the country has dealt a serious psychological and moral blow to the labor collective.
“Many suffered from the actions of security forces, both morally and physically. The leadership of the association does not in any way contribute to the strengthening of morale in the team,” said Alexander Kurban in his address. “On the contrary, it applies sanctions and intimidation to those who disagree with falsified election results and harsh suppression of peaceful protests.”