Nairit former employees demonstrate outside government building

Thu 31 August 2017 19:22 GMT | 23:22 Local Time

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Dozens of former Nairit employees stage action outside the government building.

The recent fire at the idling Nairit chemical plant in Yerevan is yet another proof that that the plant should not be neglected; it should instead be put into operation and kept under professional oversight, according to several dozen former employees of Nairit who today held a demonstration outside the building of the Armenian government.

In the Soviet times, the demonstrators said, ethanol-varnish wastes, which the fire at Nairit was triggered by, were exported and used in shipbuilding as a waterproof material. After the proclamation of independence, the waste was burned in furnaces in the plant’s combustion workshops, which hasn’t been done since the plant was shut down in 2010.

“Either in 2012 or 2013, the plant management requested money from the government to be able to burn these wastes. The plant’s employees repaired the furnaces themselves, while the government promised financial support. They never gave any money, and in 2015 everyone was sacked. Nairit is not a shoemaking studio; you can’t just lock the door and leave. Nairit is a chemical plant, which has both positive and negative sides,” former Nairit employee, chemist Anahit Manukyan said.

Now, according to the demonstrators, when all the specialists have been fired, the responsibility for the plant’s safety lies with Armenia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations. Emergency situations minister David Tonoyan, however, insisted in a conversation with journalists that responsibility for Nairit lies with Nairit 2. He also suggested that the fire at the factory was the result of negligence.




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