Recent activity in the Antonov factory
February 6, 2015
Translated from Russian by Tom Winter
Kiev, February 5 UNN [Ukrainian National News service]. Almost one million workers throughout Ukraine will experience a lockout (work stoppage — Ed.) At present so far they have not been paid since autumn. Employers, entrepreneurs, and industrialists announced this at a press conference, UNN reports.
In the economic crisis here in wartime, the government should count on domestic producers, but at present, Ukraine is importing glass, military uniforms, and also coal. This policy has led to the loss of a third of the work force.
“Among the people, they’re calling the government “the Liquidation Commission,” said Alexander Oleinik, chairman of the Kherson Association of Employers.
According to Oleinik, just about all glass production has stopped. Yuzhmash [Southern Machine Factory, the state rocket and missile producer — tr] has stopped production. In many divisions of Sumy [largest maker of gas compression and transmission equipment in the former Soviet Union — tr] the workers were laid off in October with an advance of 1000 hryvnia [about $50 — tr] The fate of the aviation plants in Kiev and Kharkov remains unclear.
So the employers, in their open report, warn the existing government about the responsibility that it must bear for the damage to the Ukrainian economy. The chairman of the Pan-Ukrainian Association of Employers, Alexander Sokolov summed it up: “We appeal to the parliamentary coalition: relieve Yatsenyuk!” [Смените Яценюка!]
Translator’s note: Ukraine inherited the Antonov Aviation headquarters when the Soviet Union broke up. Its only income now seems to be leasing of the world’s biggest freightliner, the Antonov 235, which is so big it can transport tanks, or even railway cars. Only one has ever been built. As the aviation industry was tightly intertwined between Russia and Ukraine, the ‘regime change’ of February 21 has been a stymie for the industry on both sides of the border.