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Glassmaking Company Employees Hold Protest, Demand 6 Months Back Wages

The Glass World Company, located in the town of Byureghavan in Armenia's central Kotayk province, owes its 300 employees 3 to 6 months' salaries. The staff has repeatedly picketed the plant, demanding repayment of their back wages. Not having succeeded, however, the workers held a protest action on Thursday in front of the Armenian government building. 

In an earlier interview with Epress.am, the employees said the company's general director Babken Sedrakyan had promised to pay off the wage arrears until August, 2015. “Sedrakyan has now taken an indefinite leave of absence, appointed lawyer Armen Torosyan to act in his stead and bear the brunt [of the protest],” Glass World Company locksmith Arayik Gevorgyan said.

Protester Karen Jamalyan added that the company is deliberately being led to bankruptcy. “We call the lawyer, he answers rudely 'Do you know who you've called? Call the owner.' They promise the money will be given, but they do not know when there'll be any. The owner is Russian; we've never seen his face.”

Aleksander Ghazaryan (pictured), head of the Government's Department for Reception of Citizens and Discussion of Petitions, told the demonstrators Thursday afternoon the Cabinet could not help them since Glass World Company is a private firm.

“Ghazaryan said we can go to court if we want to. That's exactly what we're going to do. If they don't pay us, we'll block the Sevan-Yerevan highway. Further actions are being discussed. The management says there's no demand, but our output is also gone. If it's been sold, then where is the money?” protester Arayik Gevorgyan stated.

Speaking to our reporter, former employee Edgar Martirosyan said he resigned after the management announced on August 8 the plant was at a standstill. There are people, he added, who've taken a leave at their own expanse and do not know whether the plant will ever be re-operated.