YEKATERINBURG, September 7 (Itar-Tass) — Four former workers of the Automobiles and Motors of the Urals (AMUR) plant who have been on a hunger strike over wage arrears were hospitalized, Irina Zaprudnaya, one of the organizers of the protest action, told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The four have heart problems, hypertensic crises, and stenocardia. Other hunger strikers are in borderline condition, wambling and feeling giddy,” she said.
According to Zaprudnaya, neither the plant’s administration nor the regional authorities have tried to contact the strikers. No money has yet been paid to the redundant employees.
The administration of the AMUR plant that is currently in the bankruptcy process has pledged to distribute all funds coming to its accounts among its working personnel until the ratio 80 percent to the working/20 percent to the redundant is resumed. The balance was tilted after the first hunger strike when all the plant’s funds were paid to the redundant workers. Apart from that, the plant’s managers have suggested that the strikers should sell scrap metal collected in the plant’s premises for repayment of wage arrears.
The protest action involves about 100 redundant workers. Twenty-four workers have stages a hunger strike at an administrative building. The rest are on a hunger strike at their homes. Wage arrears to AMUR workers amount to about 30 million roubles. A criminal case has been opened against the AMUR managers on charges of causing mischief through fraught and embezzlement.
The AMUR plant was set up in 1967 as a branch of Moscow’s MosavtoZIL plant. In February 1977, the plant launched a car assembly shop. The Automobiles and Motors of the Urals company was set up on the basis of the Urals Automotor Plant in August 2003. On August 27, 2009, the Sverdlovsk Region’s Court of Arbitration ruled to impose external management at the plant.