“We Have Never Been So Impoverished”: Nikolaev Shipbuilders Blocked the Road to Odessa in Protest

Translated by Ollie Richardson



About 100 workers of the State enterprise “Shipyard named after 61 Communards” Nikolaev plant on Tuesday at 09:00 blocked the highway Nikolaev-Odessa passing through the Varvarovsky Bridge, demanding to pay the salaries they are owed. This was reported by the local “Novosti-N” publication.

Police officers tried to persuade people not to block the flow of traffic, however nobody listened to them — employees of the plant went to the crosswalk near a military unit. The patrolmen tried to persuade the protestors to at least allow the route’s transport to pass through, however the factory workers were unshakable — but they allowed an ambulance and military transport vehicles to pass through.

In their hands were posters with the inscriptions: “Authorities, why do you hate your own people?”, “We have never been so impoverished”, “Who will put an end to the genocide of the working class”, “We were deceived by the government”, “Impeachment for the President”, “Poroshenko and Groysman promise to re-promise promised promises”, and others.

As was reported, at the end of October “Ukroboronprom” reported about the termination of the work of the State enterprise “Shipyard named after 61 Communards” due to the government’s decision to not resume the compensation of costs of the enterprise for the maintenance of the unfinished cruiser “Ukraine” – stopped in February, 2015 – and published an appeal to the authorities, and in particular to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Aleksandr Turchynov, with a request to assist in resolving the situation with debts at the shipbuilding plant.

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In November, the Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman said that the “Ukroboronprom” State concern, the leadership of which controls the enterprise, must solve the repayment of wage arrears at the shipbuilding plant. In turn, “Ukroboronprom” said that the payment of salaries to employees of the enterprise completely depends on the Cabinet of Ministers.

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