Donetsk, Jan 20 - DAN. The Donetsk People’s Republic's wage debt decreased by nearly half a billion rubles last year, Deputy Chairwoman of the DPR Federation of Trade Unions Yelena Molchanova told the Donetsk News Agency on Thursday.

“As of the beginning of 2021, the Republic’s wage debt reached 2,452,059,000 rubles, while on December 1, it was down to 1,962,135,000 rubles,” Molchanova said. “Coal and machine-building companies account for a lion’s share of the debt.”

The metallurgical sector cleared nearly all wage arrears as the leading metallurgical and coking enterprises came under control of the South Mining and Metallurgical Complex (YuGMK), she added.

“Even the companies that are not part of the YuGMK have paid their wage debts; there’s no wage debt to the retired workers,” the trade union official said.

As of December 1, the number of unpaid employees was 80,690 with the average wage debt per employee amounting to 24,317 rubles, according to Molchanova. *jk