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Reformers of the Mining Industry – Miners’ Opinion not needed?

28.12.2010    source:
Plans to close or privatize mines are being made without any consultation with specialists and those most immediately affected

Experts from the mining industry and civic activists insist on broad public discussion of reform to the coal industry. Otherwise changes will lead to corruption and terrible social consequences.

The reform, over five years, envisages that loss-making businesses will be closed, and those with good prospects, will be privatized. Practical steps for reforming the industry are supposed to begin in 2011. By the end of this year, the Ministry for the Mining Industry should set out the main steps of reform and provide a prognosis for the future development of the coal industry.

The problem is that the reforms are being carried out unofficially. According to the co-founder of the project “Public control over the Authorities’ Actions regarding Restructuring of the Coal Industry in Ukraine”, Stanislav Fedorchuk, specialists, trade unions, mining town communities and the miners themselves are merely passive witnesses.

The public do not only want to know how much money is being allocated, for example, on the creation of new jobs for mines who are dismissed after the closure of mines, but also to monitor how transparently this money is distributed.

The project plans to carry out surveys among miners regarding their evaluation of the government’s actions.

Fedorchuk pointed to negative experience of “restructuring” of the coal industry which, he says, resulted in mining settlements dying, with unemployed miners finding new work on illegal makeshift mines.

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