KENTAU WORKERS STAGE HUNGER MARCH.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 191

Police and internal troops have stopped a march on Almaty by nearly 2,000 unpaid workers of the Achpolimetall ore-refining plant and their families, who had set out to walk almost 1,000 kilometers from Kentau to the capital. The march has been blocked after only 32 kilometers and a standoff has ensured. Demonstrators have set up a tent camp, and hundreds of them are on hunger strike. They are demanding immediate and full payment of overdue wages; a government bailout of the ailing plant; and talks with President Nursultan Nazarbaev at the scene. Nazarbaev commented yesterday that the plant is neither competitive nor profitable and that it should have been declared bankrupt long ago.

In Almaty, leftist and Russia-oriented political and labor groups opposed to market reforms have declared their support for the protest and called on workers elsewhere to declare theirs. (Russian agencies, October 11-13) Many plants throughout the country are experiencing similar problems. Some are being rescued through privatization and foreign investment — a solution opposed by the leftist groups that seek to politicize the Kentau workers’ protest.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of Senior Analysts Elizabeth Teague, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and Analysts Igor Rotar, Douglas Clarke, Ben Slay, and Peter Rutland.

If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at <[email protected]>, by fax at 202-483-8337, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 1528 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law.

The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected], by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions