Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan yesterday visited the financially strapped Nairit Rubber Plant in Yerevan and met with management and employees to present the government’s plan of action to get the Soviet-era plant back on its feet.
Zakharyan confessed that social tensions at the plant, where workers are owed many months of back wages, remain rife but that the government is working to resolve the problems.
The minister said that the plants debts amount to 102 billion AMD (US$13.8 million), of which 6 billion is owed in wages.
Regarding the possibility of getting the plant back on line, Zakharyan told employees and management that a World Bank team would be implementing a technical audit of the plant by February of next year.
The minister said that if the results, to be published in March, prove to be positive the government would approach the Nairit governing bodies with a suggestion that an international tender be announced aimed at re-launching the plant’s operation.
The Armenian government has a 10% stake in the plant
Zakharyan told plant staff that they would receive another month’s back wages in the coming days and another payment in December.