The strike follows the hiring of an administrative official by the company, which the worker claim violates an agreement with the government to refrain non-production staff recruitment until the miner’s wages are increased.

Around 140 coal mine workers are refusing to leave the below ground at a mine in northern Bosnia and threatening a hunger strike if the company’s management doesn’t dismiss the recently hired official, according to Reuters.

The mine’s trade union president Said Muhic told state radio, "The situation is really dramatic."

Meanwhile, a company representative told AlJazeera Balkan that demands of the workers are expanding and the strike is illegal since it was not announced with 10 days notice.

Employing more than 1,000 workers, the Djurdjevik mine produces about 550,000t of coal per year, according to the company website.