Thursday, Nov 14 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'What has enabled Russia to rise among the great powers of the world…has been the conquest of Siberia'
W.Bruce Lincoln

Dear Mr President, please help us get our wages

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 April 2015

Workers at new spaceport write messages to Vladimir Putin on roofs of buildings after going months without pay.

More than 500 people involved in constructing the multi-billion-rouble Vostochny spaceport claim they have not received any money for four months.. Picture: Amurskaya Pravda

Workers building the troubled new cosmodrome took to the roofs to write pleading messages to Vladimir Putin after going without pay for months.

More than 500 people involved in constructing the multi-billion-rouble Vostochny spaceport – including the likes of fitters, welders, and crane operators - claim they have not received any money for four months.

In desperation, on Monday they scrawled messages on the tops of buildings in the workers' village of Uglegorsk asking the President to intervene. They wrote: 'Dear Vladimir Putin! We have worked four months without a pay check! Save the workers! We want to work!'

Pictures of the appeal were then taken by the employees of the JSC Pacific Bridge-Building Company and sent to high profile officials, including the governors of the Amur region, the editors of the local newspaper and to the President's office itself.

The latest problems come just a week after 26 workers with the Stroyindustriya company staged a hunger strike because they also had not been paid.

The Vostochny complex, in the Russian Far East, has been hit by a series of delays and setbacks, with allegations of corruption and a lack of funds slowing the pace of the construction.

The Pacific Bridge-Building Company was one of the first to work at the spaceport in 2012 but now it is in the early stages of bankruptcy. Employees have already been informed about likely liquidation and job losses, with the debt of the company thought to owe its workers almost 100 million roubles ($1.92million).

Vostochny protest


Vostochny protest


Vostochny protest

'Dear Vladimir Putin! We have worked four months without a pay check! Save the workers! We want to work!' Pictures: Amurskaya Pravda

The general contractor Dalspetsstroy did pay the company 200 million roubles ($3.8million) but none of this was passed onto the staff.

The workers say: 'We have kept quiet all this time because we believed in the decency of our management and the leadership of Dalspetsstroy, who knew about the situation, but took no action. It is insulting because more than 500 people are without wages, but no one helped us.'

On April 8 investigating authorities opened a criminal investigation into the non-payment of salaries to the firm's employees.

However, officials with Pacific Bridge-Building Company said they have been disheartened by the lack of support from the Kremlin, particularly after last week's hunger strike by other workers prompted a reaction from the Deputy Prime Minister.

Alexander Schunk, deputy general director, said: 'We are very sad that we have been left alone with our problems. When our colleagues from the company Stroyindustriya announced a hunger strike, their call was immediately responded to in Moscow. Dmitry Rogozin arrived at the cosmodrome and people were paid their salaries. Yet we, with 500 people, cannot be heard.'

The sprawling 551 sq km complex, close to the Chinese border, will employ up to 25,000 people, with the first launch – for the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket – pencilled in for December.

Vostochny protest


Vostochny protest

Mr Rogozin and Mr Putin met with Igor Komarov, the head of Roscosmos, on Monday to discuss the progress on the site. Pictures: kremlin.ru

Architects say the new community will be a 'one-of-its-kinds scientific and tourist space town with a unique design and beautiful landscape'. But it has been marred by delays and of the 273 facilities that had to be ready for March 1, only 81 were operational.

Any postponement would be a huge embarrassment for Vladimir Putin, with Vostochny being viewed as the jewel in the crown of the future of Russian space missions.

The project is also engulfed in claims of financial corruption, with Russia’s Accounts Chamber uncovering the construction costs have been overstated by $180million.

Mr Rogozin and Mr Putin met with Igor Komarov, the head of Roscosmos, on Monday to discuss the progress on the site.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: 'On the whole, the construction is seriously progressing. Already the launch pad is there and we found out that the engineering mechanics are also installed there. In fact, the fire ring is already fully assembled. In general, the building goes on. I think we are on schedule to complete it.'  

Comments (3)

You now have it out of the President's mouth...he has said he will pay you your wages & said it with millions looking on as witnesses. He'll never...surely...go back on his word now. Will he? I'll be watching.
Jaker, Dundalk
17/04/2015 21:31
0
0
It is one of the multiple buildings from the complex, and it looks the company was paid..
Enrique, Spain
15/04/2015 03:01
2
2
Vladimir...Hello? W-h-e-r-e a-r-e y-o-u? These workers need you to do the right thing to help them get their wages for the past 4 months. I suggest if their company is bankrupted, you pay them out of your own pocket. After all we all know you have a bob or two or three or four to your name.
Jaker, Dundalk
14/04/2015 22:56
4
2
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR70.68USD64.21GBP82.45Other...