December 15, 2017 / 6:29 AM / 9 months ago

ArcelorMittal says Kazakh coal miners end strike

ASTANA (Reuters) - Coal miners at steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s Kazakh unit have ended their sit-in and emerged from the mines, the company said on Friday, after offers of a pay rise and the threat of legal action.

FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen on the roof of the ArcelorMittal steelworks headquarters in Ostrava, Czech Republic, April 1, 2016. REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo

ArcelorMittal Temirtau, the Central Asian nation’s biggest steel mill, said it would continue negotiations with the miners.

After hundreds of workers started the sit-in on Monday, the company filed a lawsuit against them and a local court on Thursday ruled the strike was illegal.

State prosecutors then offered miners to end the sit-in in order to avoid charges.

At the same time, ArcelorMittal said it had agreed to increase the pay of those working underground by 30 percent. Miners had demanded a 100 percent rise.

The company, which produced about 4 million tonnes of steel last year, said in September it was negotiating a new collective agreement with steelworker and miner trade unions and planned to sign it before the end of the year.

Large-scale industrial action is rare in Kazakhstan whose government, according to international human rights groups, has cracked down on independent trade unions.

Reporting by Raushan Nurshayeva; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Michael Perry

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