Kazakhstan: Striking Workers Made to Pay Damages for Not Eating
A court in western Kazakhstan has ordered oil workers who went on a hunger strike as part of a labor dispute to pay 3.4 million tenge ($10,000) in compensation for damages purportedly incurred by their refusal to eat.
Mangystau district court in the city of Aktau on January 24 found that the 28 laborers had caused their employer, Oil Construction Company, or OCC, financial losses, despite the fact that they continued to work for the duration of their protest.
The standoff between Aktau-based OCC and its employees was sparked by a court ruling at the start of the month revoking registration for an independent national trade union that laborers have said has been more aggressive in defending their interests than state-approved unions. On January 5, one day after Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KNPRK in its Russian initials) was denied its registration over registration technicalities, OCC workers declared a hunger strike.
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