Vorkuta Miners Hold Authorities Prisoners
AT THE SAME TIME IN INTA, 1,500 MINERS BLOCKED THE RAILROAD MOSCOW VORKUTA

Summary

On Wednesday, Vorkuta miners locked most city authorities in their offices. Dozens of miners entered the city administration building and caught Igor Shpektor, the mayor and president of the union of northern cities.

A day before this incident, they barricaded the general director of Vorkutaugol a major coal mining company in the Pechora coal fields in his office. The same was done to directors for most of the mines. Vorkuta miners have not been paid in over a year.

The immediate cause for the miners' actions was the cancellation of Yeltsin's decree #777, which he signed on the eve of the 1996 elections. That decree promised a solution to problems in the coal mining regions.

Miners in Vorkuta and the neighboring city of Inta are preparing for a march to Moscow. In addition, there is a proposal for three minutes of siren sounds in Vorkuta at noon to mark a "mourning over the dying Russia."

The leader of the miners hopes this movement will be supported in all of Russia's regions.

From "Russia Today"