Workers have occupied an engineering plant in Ukraine demanding payment of owed wages, nationalisation of the plant, and production of socially useful machinery. Today at 9.30am more than 300 workers occupied the administrative building of Kherson Engineering Plant. The workers are demanding payment of wages, nationalization of the plant without compensation to its owner and have declared their intention to occupy the building until their demands are fulfilled in full.
Factory guards did not resist seriously, and no workers were hurt. A council of workers elected the previous day is in charge of the building.
On 2 February, the 300 workers at the plant started protest action against non-payment of wages since September 2008 and actual destruction of the plant by its owners. During one of the previous meetings with the workers Ms. Pugacheva, the alternate director, said that the owners were not going to save the plant. “Why do you stick to this plant so much?”, she asked. The workers held a meeting near the entrance and elected 5 representatives, including a chair, Aleksey Nimchinov.
Reports are that the council is meeting in the former office of a technical director. The chair of the workers council, has called for the struggle to spread and for workers from other plants throughout Ukraine to display solidarity and support each other. In the near future, workers have said, he plans to address this call to workers of the Lviv Bus Plant and other factories.
The main demands of protesting workers are:
– payment of wage arrears (near 4.5 million Ukrainian hryvnias);
– nationalization of the plant without compensation to its owner;
– the state-secured plant’s production distribution – high-quality farm machinery
Press release in English