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Miners stage underground sit-in in Spain

Miners stage underground sit-in in Spain
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In stark contrast to the plight of the trapped miners in Chile, a group in Spain have deliberately chosen to stay underground.

The men are two weeks into a strike to demand wages they say they are owed by their employers for two months now.

Here in the north-western province of Léon, an estimated ten thousand families depend on coal for their livelihood.

“We will be here until they give us a definitive answer, not just another fobbing off. We don’t want handouts, we just want them to realise they have to pay us our wages.” said the group’s spokesman.

The government says two mining companies, Alonso and Viloria, have broken a pact in which they pledged to pay wages in return for state aid.

“Morale is sky-high, we have already been down here for nine days, and there have been problem, particularly physical. But in terms of morale, we are 100 percent ok. They won’t win, they won’t beat us.” insisted one of the strikers.

The mining industry in Spain is struggling to stay profitable, as high costs are making it uncompetitive compared to imported coal.