Soviet coal miners voted Friday to form a union independent of government control, but they disagreed on what form the new organization should take.
The decision opens another rift between Soviets and their government.President Mikhail S. Gorbachev has encouraged decentralization, but formation of an independent miners' union would mean the government would have less control over workers, seen as the backbone of the Communist system.
Being outside the government structure would also make it easier for the workers to organize strikes, another threat to the failing economy.
During a stormy morning session, the miners decided to hold the Second Congress of Miners of the Soviet Union on Aug. 15-16 in Moscow.
On Thursday, delegates to the first miners congress called for the resignation of Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov and drove the Soviet mine minister from their meeting with angry shouts and demands.
But it appeared they would not renew a nationwide coal strike they held last summer to protest poor conditions in the mines and inadequate housing, food and consumer goods.
Some miners said they feared that holding the second congress in Moscow would increase pressure on the Ministry of the Coal Mining Industry, which opposes formation of a union free of its control.
Miners from the largest producing region, the Donetsk Coal Basin, had favored holding the second congress in Donetsk or the Kuznetsk Coal Basin. But miners from Kuznetsk voted instead for Moscow.