Workers at the Akhtala Mining Enrichment Combine owned by have complained to Hetq about the way the plant is being run by Madeline Tashjian, wife of jailed American-Armenian businessman Serop Der-Boghossian.
Workers claim Tashjian, who now runs the plant in the capacity if executive director, has been underpaying them and fires those who lodge official complaints.
The employees complain about unsafe working conditions. Some are also fuming over a recent statement by plant managers that workers are getting paid 140,000 AMD. They claim such numbers are ludicrous.
On February 18, some ten plant workers called up Hetq to lodge their complaints about the company and the management practices of Tashjian.
The workers claimed that Tashjian runs the plant by phone from Yerevan and that her guiding principle is “an Akhtala Combine without Akhtala residents.”
Workers say they’ve cheated out of half their New Year’s vacation pay, that they haven’t been provided with work uniforms, and that they are forced to spend their half hour lunch period squatting in the mud.
Irate company workers also claim that Tashjian has hired local Akhtala residents to work in the mine for 35,000 AMD per month and that, on average, workers inside the plant only get 44,000 AMD and not the 70,000-100,000 the company claims.
Workers say they are preparing a formal notice of complaint that will be signed by them and presented to President Serzh Sargsyan.
If Sargsyan fails to defend their interests, workers threaten more extreme measures.