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Nairit Workers Protest In Front of Parliament and Speak to MPs (VIDEO)

Today, the Nairit Factory workers continued their protest demanding 17 months' worth of salaries in front of the Presidential Palace, eventually walking toward the National Assembly and demanding to speak to MPs.

Near the National Assembly gates, they were first met with the ARF-D faction secretary Artsvik Minasyan, Heritage faction secretary Tevan Poghosyan, Prosperous Armenia party faction member Mikayel Melkonyan.

Speaking to the protest participants, Poghosyan stated that not only does the Nairit workers salary issue need to be resolved, but also the relaunching of the Nairit factory. The MP brought up the issue of competition of rubber production in the international market. He noted that because many other companies in Armenia have also suspended production, the issue of rubber production is a relevant one and there is no demand for rubber.

The protesters did not agree with Poghosyan, claiming that rubber is in demand in the international market as well. The MP once again stated that it was not true, urging the protesters to be realistic and objectively assess the situation. 

The Nairit workers also demanded to meet with the chairman of the National Assembly’s standing committee for economic affairs, Republican Party member Vardan Ayvazyan. The latter suggested, during a phone conversation, that a group of Nairit workers meet with him in a closed space. However, the workers demanded that Ayvazyan came down to them. The latter met with the protesters, who noted that this was the first time they saw Ayvazyan “in public.”

The Republican was hurt by these words; “I’m usually seen around other people. Hello, I’m Vardan Ayvazyan.”

The MP asked the workers to realize that even though he is the chairman of the committee, he does not have any higher authority than other committee members. Nevertheless, he promised to arrange a meeting with the workers and the relevant bodies, including the Minister of Energy Yervand Zakharyan. According to Ayvazyan, Zakharyan is currently on a business trip, and a meeting will be organized after his arrival.

“Why did Zakharyan and Serzh Sargsyan go to China, so they can sell the rest of the Nairit factory?” asked a woman within the participants.

Another participant said that they had met with Zakharyan without Ayvazyan and that he was not helpful.

The MP stated that the factory had not worked for 5 years but people received “loads of money.” “Every director of your factory says that in order for Nairit to function, 900 employees are necessary. I’ve recorded it, I have the audio. I am not a chemist, they are the ones saying that that many workers are not necessary,” said Ayvazyan.

The latter statement hurt the workers, who expressed that it was not their will to be on a forced leave. According to the protesters, they have been continually promised that the factory would restart its work. “And that is the thank you for being so patient in this process and not migrating,” said a 60-year old man.

Note, that 1200 workers of Nairit factory are currently on a forced leave, while another 1000 continued to work. At the end of the protest, the workers formed a delegation in order to speak with MPs. 

Tomorrow the Nairit workers will gather in front of their factory at 11 AM.