[Marxism] Worker strike actions in Donbass?

Sergii Kutnii mnkutster at gmail.com
Tue May 6 04:08:55 MDT 2014


Rabkor is essentially writing fantasy fiction about Donbass.

In reality, miners' unions are pro-unity and took part in unity
rallies in Donetsk under Ukrainian flags. They have a good reason to
do so: the problem of Donbass is that the coal expensive and
low-quality, all the mines are very deep because all the top layers
have already been mined; thus Donbass coal mines wouldn't survive free
market competition.

However, Ukrainian government keeps them afloat by subsidies for two reasons.

The first reason is that coal miners are surely the best organized and
most militant group of workers in Ukraine that launched massive
strikes in the 90s so the government fears them.

The second one is Russian gas price for Ukraine which is so high that
it's reasonable to buy Russian gas back from the EU countries. This
creates demand for Ukrainian coal as an alternative to Russian gas.

Should Donbass join Russia, this would change since Russia has much
cheaper open-pit coal from Siberia, not saying about oil and gas. In
the Russian part of Donbass all coal mines were closed except the two
belonging to Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

And independent Donbass would not have the financial resources needed
to sustain its coal mining. Thus miners have good reasons for being
pro-unity.

The recent strike in Krasnodon on Rinat Akhmetov's mines had pure
economical reasons - it was directed against Akhmetov's wage cuts and
according to reports from the site of the events, the miners distanced
themselves from separatists and did not put forward anti-government
slogans.

As for Yenakiyevo, Ukrainian media report just about 300-strong mob of
separatists seizing Akhmetov's company office. I can't either verify
or confirm their relation to miners or metal workers.

Thererfore separatists are generally hostile to miners' unions. Here
are some statements:

http://kvpu.org.ua/uk/news/6/3144/zayava-nezalezhnoi-profspilki-girnikiv-ukraini-shhodo-zagrozlivoi-situacii-v-kraini

http://kvpu.org.ua/uk/news/6/3142/zayava-kvpu-shhodo-ostannikh-podijj-v-kraini

http://kvpu.org.ua/uk/news/4/3148/separatisty-zakhvatili-gp-%22artemugol%22-v-gorlovke

I would say that the pro-Russian militias pose greater fascist threat
to miners than government in Kiev.




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