YEREVAN (ArmInfo)—Nairit plant workers, currently staging a protest in Yerevan demanding that wages owed to them by their employer and the government be paid, “have no confidence in the authorities,” according to Gorik Hakobyan, head of the National Security Council of Armenia.
Government officials discussed the ongoing dispute between Nairit workers and their employer during a government meeting on Thursday. The back wages Nairit workers are currently owed have reached 5.310 billion drams, according to Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan. Though workers were promised to be paid by July 15, due to apparent miscalculations in wages raised by the workers, payment will not be given until the problem is resolved in 1-2 days, according to Zakharyan.
Zakharyan also mentioned a problem related to documentation formulations, which he says will take 10-15 days to resolve. According to Zakharyan, Nairit employees will receive their full salaries if they agree to wait till the end of the month.
Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said that he is surprised by the response of the workers, saying that the government has remained true to its word. He does not understand why the employees keep protesting and what their demands are, reports ArmInfo.
Gorik Hakobyan, head of the National Security Council of Armenia, said that the protesters “have no confidence in the authorities.”
“They fear part of them will receive the wages, while there might be no money for the other part. They have no confidence in the authorities. Who can claim that every single employee will fully receive their wages?”
Hakobyan urged the executive branch to ensure that wages will be definitely paid.
The Nairit Plant has been closed since April 2010. Minister Zakharyan said that the World Bank does not deem the re-opening of the plant to be convenient at this time. According to Zakharyan, $250 million is needed to re-open Nairit. Additionally, it is not clear if the plant will be competitive in global markets.
1,700 Nairit employees were fired on February 6. 478 employees currently remain at the plant.