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Vanadzor Former Mayor’s Company Not Paying Employees’ on Time

A Lori-based road construction company belonging to Samvel Darbinyan, the former mayor of the third largest Armenian city of Vanadzor, has been late in paying its employees' salaries for months, the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor office reported on Saturday.

According to the statement, three workers of “Lori ROC” have turned to the human rights organization, claiming that some of the employees are owed back wages dating back nearly 2 years. “Ashot Kartashyan, an employee of the company, told us that he personally has yet to be paid 5 months' salary, while some of the other workers' are owed wages dating back to 2014-2015. The reason they are only just raising the issue is that company owner Samvel Darbinyan is no longer the mayor of Vanadzor,” HCAV said, adding that company director Arayik Vardanyan has been giving vague answers – “there's no money; we don't know when there'll be any money” – when approached by the employees.

Lori governor Artur Nalbandyan has not been of much help either; the Lori ROC employees have turned to him twice and have been refused help on the grounds that the issue did not fall within Nalbandyan's remit.

A group of former and current employees of the company, HCAV said, intend to write an appeal letter to Armenian prime minister Karen Karapetyan, asking for his help in getting the company to pay their back wages.