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Anya Sarkisova

Workers at Italian-Armenian Garment Plant in Yerevan on Strike

Garment workers at a plant in Yerevan that manufactures clothes for high-end European brands went on strike yesterday claiming they don’t get overtime pay.

Sartex, an Italian-Armenian joint venture, was founded in 2019 and produces garments for brands like MaxMara, Moncler, Peuterey, DolceGabbana, and Dainese.

The striking workers say they are often forced to work on Saturdays and are insulted by their Italian supervisors. 

Tatevik Hovhannisyan, one of the striking workers, told Hetq that the company plans to fire production supervisor Gevorg Gevorgyan for protecting their rights.

 "We don't want to work here without Mr. Gevorgyan, because he was the only one who fought for us during the last ten months. Thanks to him, our salaries increased, production volumes increased. Thanks to him, they didn't insult us. Do you know how inhumane they are to us?" said Hovhannisyan.

The striking workers say they are paid 100,000 drams monthly (US$247), not the 160,000 stated in their contracts.

They claim that company management threatened to fire them if they continued their strike.

Hetq reached out to Gevorgyan who said he’s urged the strikers to return to work because if he’s fired, he cannot guarantee their jobs.

Armenia’s Health and Labor Inspectorate says it will review the claims made by the strikers.

(Sartex Plant Director Suren Mkrtumyan issued the following statement on the strike and the allegations made by protesting workers.)

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