Miner sets himself on fire to protest pay delays

A Ukrainian coal miner has set himself alight to protest ongoing wage arrears after industrial action and hunger strikes failed.

The man, Viktor Trifonov, carried out the self-immolation at Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Mining Ministry during a press conference, according to RT.com.

Before taking his drastic action, Trifonov spoke to media at the conference, stating the unpaid miners went to the ministry to “protest the unpopular policies that are now being implemented against the Ukrainian people”.

“We had enough of begging for our well-earned money to be given to us… I feel ashamed before my kids for being forced to do this,” he said.

Prior to the meeting the miner had numerous sent letters to Ukraine’s energy minister stating the protesting miners were “ready for extreme measures and will protest till the end”.

The miner, in his 50s, then reportedly doused himself in flammable liquid and used a lighter to ignite himself, suffering burns to 12 per cent of his body, over his face, neck and chest.

His fellow protesting miners quickly removed his burning shirt and extinguished the fire.

This is not the first time miners have taken drastic protest actions.

In 2012, coal miners across Spain and Italy took violent action to keep their industries alive.

In Spain, miners saw violent clashes with police after protests erupted over mining subsidies being slashed, with around 8000 protestors from 40 mines erecting burning barricades and launching rockets at police.

A number of miners barricaded also themselves underground, spending around a month in the coal mine.

In Italy, miners stole approximately 350 kilograms of blasting equipment and barricaded themselves underground, with another miner hacking and slashing at his wrists live on television, to protest the closure of their mine.

 

 

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