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20 workers go on hunger strike over wage arrears at Russian space port

April 22, 2015, 8:54 UTC+3 BLAGOVESHCHENSK
Wage arrears total an equivalent of 300,000 dollars, owed to 311 workers
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© ITAR-TASS/Ivan Belozerov

BLAGOVESHCHENSK, April 22. /TASS/. Twenty construction workers at Russia’s Vostochny spaceport that is being built in the Amur region have gone on an indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday over wage arrears.

"As we have not seen salaries from January to March, as our rights have been violated and in view of a hard financial situation facing every worker, we announce an indefinite strike from 10 am on April 22," they said in a letter to the acting director general of Stroiindustriya-S company they work for. The document addressed to Acting Director General Mikhail Terentyev signed by 20 workers has been published by regional media.

Wage arrears total an equivalent of 300,000 dollars, owed to 311 workers.

Earlier reports said the company had owed 260,000 dollars to 214 workers, who did not see their salaries for January and February 2015. On April 6, reports came that Terentyev had been detained and criminal proceedings had been launched.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, issued instructions to gather for a meeting the chiefs of all contractors who owe wages to the builders. The forthcoming inspection of spaceport under construction is due on April 26-27.

President Vladimir Putin during the televised Direct Line question-and-answer session on April 16 said he and the workers on site would establish double control of the wage payment situation. He also declared that the Accounts Chamber, the Presidential Control Department and the Investigative Committee were pushing ahead with their own probes.

The Vostochny (Eastern) spaceport is being built near the town of Uglegorsk in the Amur Region. The spaceport, which has been under construction since 2010, is scheduled to be built by November 30, 2015.

The Vostochny cosmodrome will comprise two launch platforms, an airfield, facilities for crew members’ pre-launch preparation, oxygen-nitrogen and hydrogen plants, 115 kilometers of roadway and 125 kilometers of rail track.

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