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Kristine Aghalaryan

Minister Zakharyan Won’t Respond to Inquiries from Nairit Factory Workers

Several former Nairit Plant employees who were demonstrating outside the Government Building in Yerevan today demanding back wages met with Boris Gyulumyan, who heads the Department of Finance at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources during their protest.

A group of Nairit employees had sent a letter to Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan on July 18 requesting that he explain several points that were contained in an agreement regarding Nairit-2. They have yet to receive a response from him.

According to that agreement, plant workers must forfeit their rights to a salary in full, including monies accrued or estimated on the basis of law or contract penalties. Instead, "Nairit-2" is obliged to pay a lump sum to employees.

Specifically, the employees want to understand whether the state bears any responsibility in including the points of the agreement, why have the rights to fines and penalties of employees been surrendered to Nairit-2 and not Nairit Plant LLC, whether an agreement exists between Nairit-2 and Nairit Plant LLC and whether the agreement has any legal basis.

According to one employee who wished to remain anonymous, Gyulumyan stated that the letter was not considered submitted on behalf of the plant’s entire staff but only from the 22 workers who signed the letter.  He stated further that the state bore no responsibility for anything contained in the agreement. The letter was apparently forwarded to the plant director Rubik Saghatelyan who will respond in writing to the group of employees.

Since the day the staff were forced to sign the agreement Nairit’s 700 employees had yet to receive their salaries. Zakharyan claimed on July 30 that all employees would be paid in one or two days. The salaries were finally transferred on August 3.