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Russia,«We have deserved our housing!». Workers of Salut and ZIL protest

On December, 2, in the Chistye Prudy district of Moscow, a meeting was held by workers employed by two Moscow based companies «Salut» and ZIL and tenants of a number of dormitories.

A 200 people strong meeting of workers and their supporters and left wing activists from the Movement of Moscow and Moscow Region Dormitories, RRP (Revolutionary Workers Party), MGK KPFR, SKM RF, the Union of Communars, the RKP –KPSS, Left Front, LevSD were holding posters: «We have deserved our housing », «ZIL, give us back the stolen housing», «Workers without housing – No Air Space Industry», «Houses to the City – Housing to the ZIL Workers».

The cause for the protest is obvious:

The « Salut» company is planning to close down its manufacturing plant.

Over the last year, the workers have been pressurized into leaving their jobs. The employees have been paid low salaries despite the fact that the company has hardly been managing to meet the number of orders placed for the products; someone has been forced into overtime work without being paid. The employees are also forced by blackmailing into working ‘’voluntarily’’ on temporary contracts versus permanent contracts.

No wonder that the workers are being forced into quitting the dormitories they live in. To begin with, those who live in the dormitory at 9 street of Sokolinaya Gora, house 9 were just ordered to quit their apartments; then, to ‘’help’’ them do it, water supply and lighting were cut off in the house.

After several attempts to visit collectively the Prosecutor’s Office and Local Municipality, during the last of them the tenants lit a campfire in the front of the municipality office, and the cut-offs stopped – but, some time later, acts of sabotage began.

A case of gas leak in an empty apartment was reported (some apartments had been vacated by their tenants forced into it by the company management) and a burning candle was found nearby. Fortunately, the smell was timely detected.

«Under Clause 7 of the Federal Law «On Enforcement of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation», dormitories are liable to their transfer to t municipal housing, and their tenants were to be covered with the ‘’social rent’’ status. – the tenants of the ZIL dormitory are quoted as saying, – However, our dormitory was integrated into the company’s authorized capital stock (as a company fixed asset), which is against the law. In 2008, the ZIL company management tried to apply various schemes of commercial use of the building.

The tenants also said that they had been forced into signing a commercial rent agreement. They said they had been threatened with forced evictions and giving up their housing.

Faced with the tenants’ resistance, the administration resorted to blatant acts of force.

Apartments were broken into and people were assaulted physically. In fact, all these acts were perpetrated by the police officers, who were paid for their ‘’services’’ in- kind, with vacated apartments.

The scandalous lawlessness stopped in 2010 after the people staged a number of protest meetings, collective visits of the Prosecutor’s Office and filed suits demanding that the right to privatize their apartments be enforced, under the applicable law provisions.

The first 80 people won their cases.

However, the other 150 people, who had initiated similar court actions, lost the litigation.

This prompted the ZIL workers, the dormitory tenants, into staging the protest action. They demand that the dormitory building be transferred to the city municipal ownership, in compliance with the law, and the tenants’ right to owning the housing they occupy be acknowledged as legal.

Additional information can be obtained at 8-916-504-69-46, 8-968-756-05-56, 8-916-737-10-33


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