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Wage Arrears 'Paid' to Sochi Olympic Workers

All salary arrears have been paid to workers building an Olympic site for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, the Prosecutor General's Office said Friday, but workers denied that they had been paid in full.

Construction workers raising residential housing in the Imeretinskaya Valley who had publicly complained about not being paid have received 6.3 million rubles ($215,000) after the prosecutor's office intervened and took the case under "special control," the prosecutor's office said in a statement posted on its web site.

The statement accused a subcontractor, the Tuapse-Solnechny Dom company, of violating the workers' rights.

Hundreds of workers hired by Tuapse-Solnechny Dom and the general contractor, the Moskonverprom company, began refusing to work on March 11, complaining about unpaid wages, a lack of food and poor work conditions.

The construction site is funded by the state corporation Olimpstroi.

Igor Pechorin, a worker hired directly by the general contractor, denied receiving all of his back pay. "I received 21,000 rubles [$700] for the month of January," he said by telephone from Sochi. "But the company owes me a total of 149,000 rubles," or $5,000.

The government plans to spend about $13 billion on construction for the Sochi games.

Deputy Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy Minister Gennady Alyoshin, who was responsible for getting the Russian Olympics team ready for Vancouver, has stepped down, The Associated Press reported Friday.

He is the second official to quit in the wake of the country's dismal performance in the Winter Olympics last month. Russian Olympic Committee chief Leonid Tyagachyov handed in his resignation earlier this month.

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