8000 oil-workers reply to police frame-up with strike
22/10/2010 “it’s one for all and all for one” Socialist Resistance (CWI in Kazakhstan) reporters
In a tremendous show of solidarity, 8,000 oil workers for the company “OzenMunaiGas” in West Kazakhstan have come out on strike after police attempted to plant four packets of heroin and hashish on Tagan Tashanov, who was an active participant in this spring’s strikes and solidarity actions in Zhanaozen. This appears to be a new tactic of the authorities. After they arrested Vadim Karamshin at the beginning of October, the police initially claimed he had been dealing drugs. Other attempts have been made against the “Miners’ Family” movement in Karaganda and trade unionist, Igor Kolov, and the three trade union activists from Aktyubinsk. .
All 8,000 workers at the company are now on strike and are demanding the release of Tagan Tashanov. The strikers are awaiting the arrival of the region’s Akim (Mayor) and have said they have no intention of giving up. As one of them commented – “it’s one for all and all for one”. The situation at “OzenMyunaiGas” was already tense, as it was before the strike in the spring and one spark has proved enough for the situation to go up “in flames”. It is reported that the workers have already declared no-confidence in their official “trade union” and have now decided to join a new independent union en bloc. On the eve on next week’s hearing over democratic and human rights in the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament, this is an extra reason to organise lively pickets and protests on 26th October demanding the cancellation of the OSCE Summit in Kazakhstan in December.
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