Management Salaries at Metal Prince Cut by 25%
Koto Bejanov, a resident of Akhtala in the Lori Marz, used to work in the Mine owned by the company, the site of recent lay-offs. Mr. Bejanov is a victim of those lay-offs as well. "I can't say how many they fired, but I'm one of them. Now, none of the four in my family is working. They promised me a job as of March 1st," Mr. Bejanov states. Many we met in the streets of Akhtala on February 13 also expressed their concerns about the Metal Prince cut-backs. When we asked Serob Ter-Poghosyan, the Executive Director of Metals Prince and one of the co-owners of the company, to explain the cut-backs he answered, "In 2007 we launched the 14 month development plan of the company during which we spent $7 million to increase our resources in Akhtala. The plan should have started in September but was delayed till October. The 14 month project will terminate at the end of February." He stated that the project resulted in monthly production from 250 to 1,100 tons. The Executive Director reminded us that the company is operating with huge losses given the economic crisis. "All our people realize that we are losing $5-6,000 on a daily basis but that we are striving to keep our personnel intact. We have stated that we have come to provide you with work and that you have come to work, to grow the firm. We have kept you on the payroll in good times and will do the same in bad times until prices go back up so that you can continue working." Mr. Ter-Poghosyan claimed that due to the economic crisis salaries at the management level have been cut by 25% and by 20% for other positions.