Workers at the state-owned mining equipment manufacturing plant Luganskugleremont in Antratsyt, Luhansk, have organised and managed to restart production. The plant, which at its peak employed nearly 2000 workers, had fallen idle as the old management was selling it off as scrap metal. Now a group of over 100 workers have taken the factory into the own hands, removed the old management and made it work again. We publish here a translation of an Itar-TASS report.
In Lughansk People’s Republic, employees of a large factory are restoring the factory themselves
Factory workers have collected money to buy 600 meters of new electric cable and restart production.
ITAR-TASS – October 31. Industrial enterprises of Donbas resume their work. Employees of the plant “Luganskugleremont” in Antratsyt (named after the type of coal, due to the large amount of mining in the area), manufacturing mining equipment, are set to deliver their first since the beginning of the civil war in Ukraine.
“It must be at least one and a half to two shifts for the manufacture of this part here. A very complex piece of mining gear. So here we have to be very, well, be experts in our field”, said Anatoly Tkalenko, turner.
The number of specialists in the Anthratsitovskogo plant during years since the independence of Ukraine has decreased by 25 times. Instead of two and a half thousand, now employs 100 people. The remaining state-owned enterprise management have been dismissed. The former director claimed that there were no orders. To pay the balance of wages owed to the workers, they began to sell production equipment for scrap. In the latest scandal, they sold a cable that fed electricity to the entire plant.
Sergey Prokudin, the representative of the initiative group to restore the factory
“The cable has been sold at the price of scrap, somewhere around a million hryvnia and the workers have not seen the money. It was presented to the workers like this: we sell it, and the late wages will be repaid”, said Sergey Prokudin, the representative of the group initiative to restore the factory.
When the last 600 meters of electric cable had been sold, the factory stopped, lacking electricity. But they did not have time to bankrupt the plant completely. In Lughansk, the fighting began and the management left the city. During the summer, the workers raised funds on their own to lay a new cable and restart production.
“If the business will operate, we can work to pay off the late wages from the volume of completed products, and not by scrapping the factory”, added Produkin.
The factory workers have found their first order themselves. Although they recognize: the delivery of ten mine pumps and two monorail trolley tracks will not save the situation, but this is only the beginning. Promise of help came from the government of the LPR:
“All orders related to the coal industry, including mechanical engineering, must be met by our own proper factories. This also applies to the other industries”, said Dmitry Ljamin, Minister of Fuel, Energy and Mines.
Currently Lughansk is restoring their power supply and pumping water from mines that flooded during the fighting. Soon coal producers will start to work and the plant’s products will once again be in demand.
Denis Mikhailov, Elena Sidorenko, Lughansk.
Source: Itar-Tass Translated for Solidarity for the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine by Peter Mikhailenko