Thursday, 12 December

Kapan Metallurgy Kombinat Miners Strike; Demand 40% Pay Increase

Demanding a pay increase of 40%, workers at the mine and plant owned by Kapan Metallurgy Kombinat CJSC have extended their strike for a second day.

One of the strikers, who wished to remain anonymous, telephoned Hetq saying that workers had raised the pay increase issue with company director Dmitry Ushkov months ago but to no avail.

It’s only recently that management has agreed to increase wages by 5%, which translates into 8,750 drams ($18).

The employee Hetq spoke to labelled the increase “laughable”, adding that eleven striking workers met with Ushkov today and were told that they could submit their resignation papers if they weren’t satisfied with the increase.

Hetq’s source, who’s worked in the mine for fifteen years, says that Ushkov threatened to fire all the workers still on strike ad on May 29.

“We’re standing as one,” said the miner, adding that if their demand for a 40% pay raise isn’t met by May 30 they’d block the road leading to the mine and not allow any ore to be trucked out to Georgia.

The striking workers have sent a letter to Vitali Nesis, Executive Director of the PolyMetal Group, the company which owns the Kapan Metallurgy Kombinat, saying they’re willing to discuss the matter and iron out an acceptable compromise.

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