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Armenian Bus Driver Sues Employer, Wins Case in Two Courts

Former driver of the number 89 marshrutka (minibus) Hayk Gasparyan, 66, went to court to protest inhumane working conditions and won the case in two judicial instances, reports local daily Haykakan Zhamanak.

Gasparyan, who worked for a private company that operates a public transporation route, sued the owner of the company, demanding 10 years’ worth of his salary. Speaking to the paper, the bus driver said that the number 89 marshrutka, as well as the owner of the number 75 and 77 routes, is RA Minister of Urban Development Samvel Tadevosyan.

According to Gasparyan, none of the drivers have received the salary that is in their contracts. The Court of First Instance, considering the complaint, obliged the route’s official owner ST Trans Mobil to pay Gasparyan 1 million 300 thousand AMD (about $3,207 USD) in compensation, but the company appealed the ruling. The Court of Appeals, however, sustained the lower court’s ruling and now the case is at the third and final level in Armenia, the Court of Cassation.

“80% of the drivers are cracking under the debt. I got angry, got up on my feet,” said Gasparyan, adding that all the drivers are supporting him, but are afraid to join him. “Do you think too few people were beaten on the route?” he asked.

The article can be read in full in today’s issue of Haykakan Zhamanak (in Armenian only).