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GM Russia-Avtovaz Says to 400 Workers We Don't Want You Anymore-Plant Looked Like A "Concentration Camp"
Date 09/01/24/02:41

GM Russia-Avtovaz Says to 400 Workers We Don't Want You Anymore-Plant Looked Like A "Concentration Camp"

On January 20 Joint venture GM-AVTOVAZ in the Russian city of Togliatti
cut 1 of 2 shifts and warned 400 workers of dismissal upcoming in 2
months time.

The workers who were there describe the way it was done:

When workers came to the plant after “winter holidays” which started in
the middle of December, the plant was full of guards and police. It
looked more like concentration camp then a plant. The workers were
escorted to their workshops and separated. Then managers of workshops
read aloud “the order” which said that GM was always putting of workers
first but this time because of the crisis it was sorry to tell that they
cannot keep their jobs. What followed reminds of Orwellian fiction or
some totalitarian regimes practice : workers were called by one to a
small room where a manager with 2 witnesses told them they were
dismissed. To add insult to injury, workers were “offered” as it is
required by Russian labor law, vacancies in the office, but alas, higher
education was required there. Many workers warned of dismissals have
children, many are single mothers, in some cases they are both parents
working for the GM plant.

GM-AVTOVAZ told them to go and not come back thus disposing of workers
as used rubbish. They are supposed to stay home and receive 2/3 of their
average pay until February 16 and then until March 20, normal wage which
is about 400 $. Then, after they are dismissed, they shall receive one
monthly wage and will not have any attachment to GM. At least that is
the GM's bosses' idea, who view workers as a mere unwanted liability and
not as people.

The head of Tolyatti's state public employment center Vladimir Bagaev
sees no evil in the company's doings: “They warned us three months in
advance as law requires” says the unnerved official to the press. May he
be so cool because his wife works in GM-AVTOVAZ's HR department, and she
is surely be the last one to go?..

The dismissed workers many of whom are members of the ITUA trade union,
still unrecognized by GM-AVTOVAZ, including the chairman Sergei Jartsev
are not going to let the company treat them like that. They are going to
resist the barbarian dismissals both legally and by collective action.

Andrei Liapin

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