DEMAND FOR PAY: NAIRIT EMPLOYEES WORK, THEN MARCH, THEN WAIT
SOCIETY | 23.07.13 | 15:27
By Gohar Abrahamyan
Employees of Yerevan’s Nairit rubber plant held another protest
Tuesday morning, demanding from the president to settle their salaries,
unpaid for almost a year, and again left after a promise to receive
a one-month salary.
More than 200 employees marched from their workplace to the
presidential residence, where trade union leader Hrach Tadevosyan
along with a few of his co-workers met the deputy head of the control
service and reached an agreement by which one month’s salary will be
paid end of July, and another month’s salary – end of August.
The only producer of chloroprene rubber in all of post-Soviet
territory, one of Armenia’s biggest economic entities Nairit, located
in a Yerevan suburb, has its 90 percent share owned by Rhinoville
Property Limited company, registered offshore since 2006. For three
years now it has not produced anything, with 1,500 of its 2,700
employees in lay-off. The company owes 11 months’ salary to its
employees, who hold protests once every few months demanding from
the president and the government to pay them their wages. The average
salary at Nairit is 157,000 drams (around $380), and the annual salary
fund totals to around $1 million.
Melikset Harutyunyan, Nairit employee since 2006, told ArmeniaNow that
they demand their wages and want to know what is going to happen to
“They pay us our salaries only once in 2-3 months, nonetheless we keep
going to work, so we want to know what is going to happen after all?
Every 3-4 months some people come, supposedly to buy the plant, but
nothing changes. I suggest we put out tents in front of Nairit and hold
an indefinite sit-in, until the issue gets resolved,” says Harutyunyan.
For the past several months the government of Armenia has been
negotiating with Russian Rosneft oil company over the sale of Nairit,
but days ago information appeared in the press that the talks were
indefinitely suspended in July, because the company would agree to
purchase the plant only after it settles all its debts.
From: A. Papazian