Hundreds of coal miners in Kazakhstan are refusing to return to the surface until their wages are doubled and working conditions improved.
More than 600 miners in the Karaganda region of central Kazakhstan have been underground for four days.
The owner of the mines, a subsidiary of the multinational firm ArcelorMittal, says the strike is illegal and has sued the trade unions that organised it.
ArcelorMittal, one of the largest steel and mining companies in the world, says all eight of its mines have stopped producing coal.
In September, the company said it was negotiating a new agreement with the trade unions and planned to sign it before the end of the year.
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