Today, Nairit factory workers continued their protest in front of the government building. Yesterday, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan refused to meet them, however, this morning the government promised the factory workers that the PM would meet with a delegation of five. The Nairit workers' demand has not changed; they are asking to be paid their accumulated salaries in its entirety, not just one month’s salary.
One of the factory workers, named Ruben, told Epress.am that people are starting to call their action a “protest of millionaires.” According to Ruben, the factory owes them their 18 months worth of salaries and even if one was earning 50,000 AMD a month, then at this point they are a millionaire, however, only on paper.
“It’s not like we don’t receive our salaries at all, we receive one or two months worth. But like I’ve always said, we are never able to keep those salaries. Creditors get happy when they hear that Nairit staff have received their salaries. People receive their money and go pay off their debts, that’s it,” noted the protester.
During the protest, participants also told us that they have already began receiving notices for their resignation. Currently, there are 2,200 employees, of which 1,200 are idle workers (who have to receive ⅔ of their salary), approximately 1,000 people are working. However the factory executives are preparing to sign contracts with only 500 employees. The Nairit Factory CJSC released a statement today which notes that labor cuts are implemented in order to optimize expenses and with the objective of halting the future accumulation of debt.
“No one has ever said that the factory workers would not receive their accumulated salaries. According to the statement by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, employees of the Nairiti Factory CJSC will be paid one month's salary in December,” said the company’s statement.