Spanish miners stay underground to demand pay arrearsSeptember 9th, 2010 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Sep 9 (IANS/EFE) Two groups of Spanish coal miners are staging protests by refusing to surface from mines to demand payment of back salaries and a lasting solution to the problems of the sector.
Fifty-two miners working for the Union Minera del Norte, or Unisma company, have enclosed themselves up at that firm’s only operating mine, located in the northern province of Palencia.
Another 14 miners are refusing to surface at the Alto Bierzo company’s mine in Tremor de Arriba, Leon province, and say they will not leave until they receive two months of back salaries.
The 80 percent humidity and the 16 degrees Celsius temperature are aggravating the physical problems of these workers, who have been protesting since last week, said labour leader Carlos Mesa Wednesday. He accompanied the 52 men at the Unisma mine for several hours.
In fact, some of the workers have had to leave temporarily to seek medical attention for conditions such as cramps, slipped disks, back problems from sleeping on the ground and colds resulting from the low temperatures and dampness.
Mesa said despite facing the hardships the protestors remain firm in their decision not to come to the surface until the future of Spain’s mining sector is resolved and they are paid their salaries for July and August.
The companies say local power utilities are opting for cheaper, imported coal and that lost revenue means they lack the funds to pay labour costs.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Wednesday that his government is working to find a solution to the labour conflict and the problems of Spain’s coal mining industry.
That effort comes after the European Commission approved a proposal in July that would facilitate the closure of loss-making hard coal mines in the European Union by Oct 1, 2014.
- 32 Mexico coal mines shuttered for safety reasons - Aug 11, 2012
- Bolivia cancels mining concession - Aug 03, 2012
- Mexican town takes on world's richest man - Jul 23, 2012
- Spanish firm plans $615 mn solar energy project in Chile - May 17, 2012
- Trapped Peruvian miners fine, awaiting rescue - Apr 10, 2012
- Cloned fighting bull born in Spain - May 19, 2010
- Brazil faults European response for economic crisis - Jul 14, 2012
- New Mexican mine to produce 283 tonnes of silver - Jul 14, 2011
- Seven trapped Chinese miners found alive - Nov 19, 2011
- Loss of permit in Argentina a surprise: Petrobras - Apr 05, 2012
- Man trapped in Peru gold mine rescued - Apr 20, 2012
- Four shot at in South African mine: Police - Sep 03, 2012
- PMO ensures Coal India supplies adequate to power plants - Feb 15, 2012
- Five die in Brazil when elevator crashes - Apr 22, 2012
- 20 killed in Colombia mine blast - Jan 27, 2011
Tags: arrears, bierzo, coal miners, coal mines, coal mining industry, dampness, hard coal, jose luis rodriguez, jose luis rodriguez zapatero, labour costs, labour leader, local power, luis rodriguez, luis rodriguez zapatero, minera del norte, northern province, power utilities, prime minister jose luis rodriguez zapatero, protestors, sleeping on the ground