Kazakhstan: Solidarity appeal – Workers face continuing pressure and threats

Struggle for nationalisation of coach factory continues

Workers at the Almatinskii Coach Factory in Kazakhstan are still campaigning for their factory to be nationalised. A special briefing held for workers outside the main entrance turned into a press conference at which the workers’ leaders spoke of the pressure and repression, which was being stepped up on the members of the strike committee.

The employer is using any possible method to punish the strikers. Their bonuses have been cut and shop managers whose workers supported the strike are being fined. In other places, workers are being provoked or, in the case of several leading activists, management is attempting to buy them off with offers of promotion and higher pay. The management is stepping up its propaganda against any attempts to nationalise the factory with the arguments that the state should not be trusted, and that the state will automatically bankrupt the plant. At the same time, it is attempting to ensure that people loyal to the management take over the trade union.

As far as the Deputy Chair of the strike committee, Yesen Ukteshbaev is concerned, they are using real threats. The Management Board’s Chairman openly told him that “trade union leaders abroad do not live long, it seems you will soon share their fate!” In reply Yesen has insured his life and warned his colleagues not to believe that “accidents” can happen to members of the strike committee.

Yesen Ukteshbaev has declared that: “We are not prepared to give up and drop our demands. The strike committee has documented all the various attempts to breach the labour law and have referred them to the procurer. A number of cases have started. Our main fight, to get the factory returned to state ownership, is continuing.”

“Socialist Resistance (Kazakhstan)” is completely against these attempts by the owners and security police to frighten the workers, and appeals to all trade unions and left organisations to send letters and faxes of protest to:

The President of AO “Yrtsty-AERVS” Adil Bisembaev

Republic of Kazakhstan, 050034, Almaty, Prospect Raimbeka 210 r.

E-mail: aevrz@nursat.kz

Fax: +7 (727) 277 98 91

With copies to kri_ainur@mail.ru and Robert.cwi@gmail.com

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July 2009