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Nairit Employees Demand Reoperation, Warn About ‘Large-Scale’ Actions

Former employees of Nairit chemical plant do not think the Armenian authorities have the political will to bring Nairit back into operation; therefore, authorities only cite studies that consider the plant's reoperation impossible, Anush Harutyunyan, former spokesperson of Nairit, said on Tuesday during the employees' protest action outside the RA National Assembly building demanding reoperation of the plant. 

Meanwhile, the Armenian parliament has called a hearing on July 28 to discuss the study aimed at assessing the technical feasibility and financial viability of the plant, as well as the possibility of Nairit's future operation. The study has been conducted by Jacobs Consultancy Ltd and funded by the World Bank. 

“We demand that the hearing comes to the conclusion that Nairit should be reoperated. They report the findings of the World Bank; however, Nairit specialists haven't been invited [to participate in the study]. Their argument is that 'reoperation is too expensive; there is no organization willing to take over the plant, and the state does not have such money.' We're talking about USD 350-400 million. They don't want to take into consideration the fact that our specialists have proposed an action plan worth only USD 50-60 million,” Anush Harutyunyan stated. 

Commenting on the issue of the employees' back wages, Harutyunyan said the Government has not kept its latest promise either: although everyone  has signed an agreement renouncing their claim to penalty wages, only 400 Nairit employees have received their salaries as of July 28.

“Seven days have passed – no salaries. If they don't make the transaction today or tomorrow, we'll start large-scale actions,” the spokesperson concluded.