Thursday, July 19, 2018

AMUR plant workers hospitalized after hunger strike

Four former employees of the Automobiles and Motors of the Urals have been hospitalized as a result of a hunger strike over wage arrears, according to Irina Zaprudnaya, an organizer of the protests.

"The four have heart problems, hypertensic crises, and stenocardia. Other hunger strikers are in borderline condition...and feeling giddy," Zaprudnaya said, Itar-Tass reports.

Zaprudnaya said that the plant's administration has not been in contact with the strikers and that no money has been paid to the redundant employees.

The plant is currently in the bankruptcy process and said it would distribute funds to working personnel until the 80 percent to the working and 20 percent to the redundant ration is resumed. After the first hunger strike, the plant directed funds to the redundant workers, which shifted the ratio. The plant's managers suggested that strikers could sell scrap metal collected on the plant's premises to use as wage arrears.

One hundred workers are involved in the protest action, with 24 of them staging a hunger strike in an administrative building. The rest of the workers are on a hunger strike in their own homes. AMUR owes wages to workers amounting to approximately $947,000. There has also been a criminal case opened against the AMUR managers on charges of causing mischief through fraught and embezzlement, Itar-Tass reports.

The AMUR plant originated as a branch of Moscow's MasavtoZIL plant in 1967. It was then launched as a car assembly shop in February 1977. The company was set up on the basis of the Urals Automotor Plant in August 2003 and in 2009 the Sverdlovsk Region's Court of Arbitration imposed external management at the plant.