After workers at the Akhtala Enrichment Combine sent a letter to President Serzh Sargsyan, listing their complaints about wages and poor working conditions, Hetq decided to visit the plant and do some poking around.
This reporter visited the Akhtala mines on March 8. Readers will recall that the plant’s owner, Serop Der-Boghossian, the American-Armenian found guilty and now serving time for paedophilia, turned the operation over to his wife Madeline.
Many of the miners I met were ready to enter the mines wearing clothes from home. They hadn't received new work uniforms since early 2010.
The showers used by the workers were in a terrible state as seen in the accompanying photo. How workers clean the mine’s soot and grit off is anyone’s guess.
I was told that the showers and locker rooms hadn’t been renovated in three decades.
Metal Prince, the company that owns the mining operation, has done nothing to improve working conditions.
The workers I talked to were naturally hesitant to discuss the real reasons why Garik Aghjyan, an inexperienced 22 year-old miner, was killed on February 25.
They did have much to complain about and noted that their protestations have fallen on deaf ears.