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Russia Miners Want Leaders To Quit

March 11, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ After going without salaries, electricity and heat for months, about 3,000 coal miners in Russia’s Far East demanded Wednesday that the leaders of their company and their region be fired.

Teachers and doctors joined the miners at a protest in the town of Novoshakhtinsk, near the Pacific coast city of Vladivostok.

The miners have not received their pay for six months, and the utility company has cut off power and heat in the town due to unpaid bills, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

The demonstrators called for the ouster of regional Gov. Yevgeny Nazdratenko and the director of the Primorskugol coal company, Anatoly Vasyanovich.

Unpaid wages emerged as a major political issue in Russia last year, with millions of workers going months without getting paid.

President Boris Yeltsin failed to deliver on a promise that all government workers be paid by the end of 1997. While most civil servants are now getting wages, many employees of private companies are not.

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