Soviet Prime Minister Warns Coal Miners That Strike Threatens Economic Collapse

PRIME Minister Valentin Pavlov has issued a dramatic appeal to striking coal miners to return to work to prevent the Soviet Union from plunging headlong into economic collapse. Speaking on Soviet television Saturday, he said he was ready to discuss pay and living conditions with miners but said there could be no talks against what he called a background of ultimatums.

"If [the strike] continues, even to the slightest degree, then we can say now that all of us, including the miners, will have to work for several years to repair the damage," he said.

Nearly 100 pits remained idle in the country's two largest coalfields - Western Siberia's Kuzbass and the Ukraine's Donbass region, Soviet television reported. Ten of 13 mines in the polar Pechora basin were also on strike.

"I would like to ask them to resume work by Monday at the latest," Mr. Pavlov said. "Then, I think, the country will sigh with relief. The entire country cannot be kept under such tension."

Several thousand miners were shown on television demonstrating in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

Many held signs demanding the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

"While the miners stand firm, the economy is worsening throughout the country, creeping closer and closer to the abyss," a reporter said.

Pavlov said Soviet industry was receiving only 220,000 of the 340,000 tons needed daily to operate efficiently.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK