The contractor organization SenimdiKurylys LLP, working on the order of the American oil companies Chevron and ExxonMobil, controlling 75% of Tengizchevroil’s assets at the Tengiz field in Atyrau region, followed the path of repression and intimidation of Kazakhstani workers who organized a strike on February 11 demanding to raise their salaries by 20% and pay a bonus of 500 thousand tenge.
Employers accuse Kazakh workers of allegedly not notifying them beforehand and illegally holding a strike during working hours, which caused major damage to the Third Generation Plant (3GP) project. In this regard, they arranged the trial of 69 activists, who were called the instigators of the speeches and the organizers of the “illegal” strike.
In fact, many hundreds of workers were on strike at the Tengiz field on February 11-12, supported by their colleagues from other service companies, but employers specifically singled out these 69 workers to deal with them demonstratively. This was done for the edification of all the collectives in order to prevent further strikes at the field, where the Americans are in charge.
In connection with this trial of the workers, arranged on the instructions of the managers of Chevron and ExxonMobil, those brought to trial may be dismissed if their guilt is proven. This lockout, the right of the owners to completely dismiss all strikers, can be extended to the entire team, since everyone who was on shift at that time participated in the protest in those February days.
Therefore, those who received the SMS message cannot understand why only 69 people were invited to court.
If the LLP wins and the court finds the strike illegal, then we may lose our jobs. Each of us has five or six children. Loans. Today, unemployment has become the main problem in the country. We don’t know what we will do if we lose our jobs,” the workers say.
Moreover, there are articles in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan that punish imprisonment for participating in and organizing illegal strikes. And if the Zhylyoy district Court recognizes this strike as “illegal”, criminal cases against Kazakhstani workers can be immediately initiated.
That is, the American managers of Chevron and ExxonMobil, through their puppet company “SenimdiKurylys” LLP, headed by US citizen Stephen Douglas Hawkins, are leading the case to further criminal prosecution of labor activists who dared to strike in the Yankee lair on Kazakh soil.
In addition, a court decision may impose a multimillion-dollar fine on protest participants for “damage and lost profits” during the strike. And this is already a common practice. It turns out that in addition to dismissal and criminal cases, the workers themselves and their families will be charged with debts that will have to be paid for many years with the possibility of losing the only housing and the last property.
Eight workers have already agreed with the accusations of SenimdiKurylys LLP and asked the court to consider their cases through mediation. The main court hearing on the claim of employers will begin in the Zhylyoy district court of Atyrau region on March 20 at 16:00.
We call on all workers and social activists to protest against the actions of the management of Tengizchevroil LLP, firstname.lastname@example.org controlled by the American companies Chevron and ExxonMobil, which, through the contracting firm SenimdiKurylys LLP, is prosecuting Kazakhstani workers who were trying to exercise their right to strike.
It is noteworthy that at the end of 2021, Tengizchevroil LLP, by the decision of American managers, dismissed 40 thousand workers of service and construction companies, which became one of the reasons for the strike on January 4-8, 2022, when workers completely blocked the automobile and railway connecting the field and oil pumping.
It was this January strike last year that prompted Chevron and ExxonMobil to ask President Tokayev to “restore order”, as a result of which special forces and equipment were introduced to the fields. Now the Americans, through the courts and law enforcement agencies, intend to unleash repression against Kazakh workers.
Recall that the last strike on February 11, 2023 was due to the fact that the workers of SenimdiKurylys LLP were not credited with a one-time bonus from Tengizchevroil LLP in the amount of 500 thousand tenge, like many other collectives. The workers also dared to demand from the Americans a 20% increase in wages and an improvement in working conditions (in particular, the provision of personal protective equipment, as well as the renovation of the dormitory in the shift settlement).
This oppression and repression against Kazakhstani workers, whose rights are trampled on by Chevron and ExxonMobil managers, once again raises the question of the need to terminate the bonded production sharing agreement for Kazakhstan concluded by the Nazarbayev government in the early 90s and the subsoil use contract with all multinational corporations.
The Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan also fully supports the demand of the oil workers of Zhanaozen, put forward back in 2009 and during the heroic strike of 2011, for the immediate nationalization of the entire large and extractive industry in the country under the control of labor collectives.
We will not allow the dismissal and criminal prosecution of workers activists at the Tengiz field!
Source: Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan