17 February 2019, 10:48

Workers of Armenian smelter stop their protest

After the meeting with the Armenian Vice-Premier, workers of the Alaverdi Copper Smelter unblocked the Yerevan-Tbilisi railway, agreeing to wait for the outcomes of the talks on the resumption of the factory operation.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that workers blocked the railway on February 13; then, unblocked it, presenting an ultimatum to the authorities with a demand to organize a trilateral meeting at the level of the head of the government or one of his deputies, the owner of the smelter and the bank, to which the factory owes money. The meeting promised by the authorities failed; and on February 15 the railway was blocked again.

The Alaverdi Copper Smelter stopped its operation on October 19, 2018. After the previous protest action, the authorities promised that for the sake of more than 600 workers, "the government will do everything possible to make the enterprise work."

Now, protest actions are temporarily suspended waiting for the end of the talks around the smelter, Armen Kirakosyan, one of the protesters, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to Kirakosyan, Tigran Avinyan, a Vice-Premier, met the initiative group of workers and told them about the steps taken to resume the factory operation. "We were informed that talks were underway, and options searched for restarting the smelter. After returning to Alaverdi, the workers decided to unblock the railway," Mr Kirakosyan has explained, noting that protesters are not satisfied with authorities' promises, but they understand that cannot achieve more at this stage. "Should the problems of the smelter not be resolved, protests will be resumed," said the protester.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 16, 2019 at 02:32 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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