PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Hundreds of coalmine workers on Saturday went on strike and staged a demonstration against non-payment of their three months’ salaries, blocking the Kabul-North highway against traffic in northern Baghlan province.
One of the protestors, Eng. Mohammad Karim, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 627 workers had not received their salaries for the last three months.
He said the authorities concerned had told them that they would not paid salaries until their fate was decided by the Ministry of Mines and Petroluem.
Karim said the ministry had asked them to stop work, but they could not stop work because it would lead to potential explosions in the coalmines and the natural resource would be lost.
Another worker, Abdul Wasi Rashidi, said they had not pocketed their salaries for the last three months. He said they had provided enough fuel to the Ghori cement factory but the ministry asked them to stop extraction of coal.
He said the government should first pay their salaries of three months and then inform the nation why it was stropping work on the coalmines.
Sakhidad Razai, a representative of the coalminers, said the Ministry of Mines and Peroleum handed over the coal mining process to the North Enterprise three months back and since then 627 people had been working daily in coalmines.
He told Pajhwok that the Ministry of Mines last month directed them through a letter to stop extracting coal in Baghlan until a second order was issued in this regard. He said had taken up the matter with the ministry but the officials there only made promises.