Ukraine faces a bout of labour unrest, with strikes planned its rail network and already underway at a major steel mill.
Workers on the more than 21,000 km network have called a “work to rule” warning strike for March 31 to demand payment of wage increases they say have not been issued under collective agreements. The increases, they say, would in any case do little to improve living standards because of low levels of pay.
Rail workers have staged noisy protests outside the government offices, but have secured no concessions.
Workers at the ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih steel mill have already begun strike action to press for a 30 percent wage increase to bring salaries up to what they say are European levels. Management has agreed to pay only a 5 percent rise from May.
“If management does not sit down at the negotiating table for talks concerning our demands, the protest will get bigger,” said Mykhailo Volinets, head of the independent miners’ union. “Salaries are low and the employers are not complying with legislation.”