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Kazakh Factory Refuses To Reinstate Sacked Workers

Some of the dismissed workers wait for the head of the sugar factory in Karabulak on June 30.
KARABULAK, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh sugar factory has refused to reinstate 15 laid-off workers despite a local court order, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

On June 30, the management of the factory in the village of Karabulak in southern Kazakhstan refused to take back the sacked workers, who claim they were laid off because they complained about poor working conditions.

The local court ruled they should be rehired and paid compensation.

Their positions were abolished in 2009 on the pretext of cutting production costs.

Lawyer Asem Aulbekova, who represents one of the dismissed workers, told RFE/RL that economists have confirmed that no savings have resulted and the number of factory staff officially remained the same.

Tatyana Grishko, one of the sacked employees, told RFE/RL that they were dismissed after repeatedly protesting against arduous working conditions, layoffs, and downsizing.

Raykhan Doskuzhanova, who heads the independent Mushilik trade union, told RFE/RL she believes the factory management dismissed the workers because of their protests.

Factory workers told RFE/RL that several of their colleagues died because of the difficult working conditions, including Birlik Nayzabekov, 54, and Irina Trubitsina, 50.

A factory security guard told RFE/RL that he is complying with a management directive not to allow the released workers to enter the premises.

Former factory workers said they intend to have the court decision enforced and resume their old jobs.