Around 140 miners have barricaded themselves 250 metres below ground at a coal mine in Bosnia over a recruitment and pay dispute.
Workers at the Djurdjevik mine near the town of Tuzla are angry at the hiring of an administrative official, which they say violates an agreement with the government.
The miner’s trade union has long complained over pay, conditions and delayed modernisation plans at the mine.
The manager of the coalfield, Zijad Rahmic, explained that the company has done “everything possible to persuade the workers to leave the pit and to protect their health”. He added that they have tried to “fulfill their legitimate demands”.
The Djurdjevik coal mine employs more than 1,000 people and produces 600,000 tonnes of coal per year. It supplies an important local power plant with fuel.