After over a week of occupation of a mine shaft, the Russian miners returned to the surface, with the promise of compromise on key wage demands and the restoration of social programmes.
The occupation began on March 26th, with the workers producing a list of 11 demands including a 50% wage increase, and the restoration of previously suspended parts of the workers welfare packages. The occupation was part of a strike by 3000 workers against Severuralsk - part of the Rusal group, under the control of Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia’s richest Oligarchs, and is the first strike by unionised workers against Rusal.
While initially responding aggressively and threatening legal action against the occupation it claimed was illegal, Rusal backed down as all 5 shafts in the mine were shut down by workers. Attempts to bring in police were suspended, and negotiations have begun between Rusal and representatives of both unions involved. Demands for the restoration of certain social programmes have already been accepted, and wage increases of over 20% are anticipated.
The strike has attracted significant attention and sympathy from across Russia, as well as active solidarity from other unions and residents of the local town.