SAV Zentrale info at sav-online.de
Mo Jul 14 14:50:29 CEST 2003

CWI - CIS Section
125167 Moscow a/ya 37
email: pabgem at online.ru


The struggle to defend the jobs and living standards of the workers at 
the Irtyishskii Foundry in Glubokii, near Ust-Kamenogorsk in East 
Kazakhstan has been stepped up and workers are appealing for support.

As in many places in Kazakhstan, the whole town relies on this only 
factory for its survival. The foundry was privatized and taken over by a 
trans-national company named "Kazakhmys". The Company had no intention 
of investing but immediately moved to strip the assets of the factory 
and close it down, so that it would not be in competition with other 
foundries owned by the company.

The workforce, led by the Workers'Movement of Kazakhstan have resisted 
every stage of the attacks and are now demanding the nationalization of 
the foundry. The Campaign has now become very concrete as from the 1st 
July as the new management have attempted to begin the dismantling of 
equipment.  The workers took the decision to prevent this by first 
blocking the railway so that the dismantling teams could not get in. An 
attempt by management to fire up one of the foundries ready for melting 
down scrap proved unsuccessful when it was discovered that thieves had 
cut the power cables. The workers have set up their own defense squads 
to protect themselves from the police and strike breakers. The local 
population are being kept involved by means of daily meetings in the town.

On the 4th July the situation was discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet 
of Ministers of Kazakhstan, where the option of allowing another company 
to take over the plant was considered but the workers at the Foundry are 
not keen on that option either as they already have experience of how 
private owners are not interested in helping either the workforce or the 
town itself. That is why they still demand nationalization.

The  current owners are getting active support from the state. The 
police and KNB have already been actively pressurizing the worker 
activists. There have been threats to arrest the leader of the "Union of 
Young Workers" Sagitovoi and even though he has been invited to 
participate in a meeting of a Government Commission to discuss the 
Foundry's future, the leader of the Trade union, Ivan Bulgakov is facing 
imminent arrest.

Please send protests to the company either by fax on 007-3102-768247 or 
by email purchase at kazakhmys.com with copies and urgent messages of 
support to email address ainur1917 at mail.ru.

With comradely greetings:

Ainur Kurmanov  President Workers'Movement of Kazakhstan

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