Over 200 miners from two mines in Kosovo are protesting at their workplaces against the failure of their employer to pay their salaries.
More than 25 miners from the Artana (Novoberda) mine which is one of the largest lead and zinc mines in Kosovo, warned that they will not stop protesting until the Government pays their salaries.
The head of the Artana Mine Workers’ Union, Blerim Ymeri told Prishtina- based newspaper KOHA that they demand the Government and the Ministry of Economic Development to fulfil their obligation towards miners.
They also demand to not have delays in salaries in the coming months.
“We have been told that during this week we will have our salaries, but we will not move before they’re paid,” Ymeri told the newspaper.
Two miners died in this mine in June. Ymeri said the Government promised that a family member of each victim will be employed, but this has not happened yet. For this reason, over 80 miners started protesting in the zinc, lead and silver Trepca mining complex located in the northern city of Mitrovica on Wednesday.
Another 100 joined them on Thursday in the tenth horizon (gallery) of the Trepca mine.
Last week the government of Kosovo allocated €1.1 million to the Trepca mine to help it overcome financial issues due to accumulated debts. But the Acting Director of the Trepca’s Board, Hysen Vrajolli told KOHA that despite the Government’s promise, the money has not been transferred yet. Therefore the miners still do not have their October’s salaries.
Trepca previously had 23,000 employees before the dissolution of Yugoslavia, but now only has some 1200.