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Laid-Off Employees of Loss Making Textile Plant Demand 7 Months’ Back Wages

Former employees of a textile plant that used to operate under the National Police of Armenia, formerly known as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and supply uniforms to the country’s law-enforcement bodies said in a meeting with reporters today that the the loss making plant, “Continent Text,” was was shut down in 2013, but its nearly 130 former employees are still owed their wages for the last seven months of production.

According to the laid-off employees, they have been bringing up the issue with various state institutions since the plant’s shutdown and have always been promised that they would be given the money once the property of the plant is sold.

“No matter who we appeal to, they all say the same thing: the property will soon be sold, the 53 million dram tax debt will be paid, and then we’ll receive our back wages. But it’s been 4 years, and they have given us nothing. We have even gone to court, which issued a decision in our favor, obligating the plant’s management to sell the property and pay our money. But this property that they speak of is not even worth anything,” Continent Text former seamstress Gohar Tumanyan said.

“We gather outside the government building every week, but no one comes out to ask what our protest is about. We are all over 60 years old, but we go from one [stage agency] to another all day. We used to work for a state institution, so now the state is obligated to pay our back wages,” Haykanush Galstyan said. She added that the plant’s former director, Samvel Bekchyan, has been wanted by authorities for over 3 years, but he has yet to be located.