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Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Protest in solidarity with striking Kazakh oil workers

category dublin | worker & community struggles and protests | event notice author Wednesday August 10, 2011 12:41author by Paul Murphy MEP - Socialist Partyauthor phone 01 6795030 Report this post to the editors

Oppose brutal repression - jailing of workers' lawyer for 6 years and murder of TU activist

Thousands of Kazakh oil workers are now in their third month of strike action. In their struggle for trade union rights and negotiations over the implementation of a wage agreement, they have faced massive repression and intimidation. Hundreds of workers have now been fired. Their lawyer has been imprisoned for six years for “stirring up social conflict”. The police and riot police have been used against the strikers as well as the company’s security. One of the key trade union activists has now been murdered.

I visited these striking oil workers a few weeks ago and was struck by their determination in the face of this massive oppression. In light of the killing of the activist and the jailing of their lawyer, the workers have issued a renewed appeal for solidarity (below). They would like letters of protest and solidarity to be sent. In addition, they are asking for protests to be organized to highlight these issues.

We are calling a protest at 1pm on Friday at the Esso garage on Sandford Road in Ranelagh, Dublin. Esso is involved in a joint venture with Kazmuniagas, Tengizchevroil. If we can bring pressure to bear on Esso, it can assist to bring pressure onto the company and help force them to engage in meaningful negoatiations with the company.

Here is the appeal for solidarityfrom the striking oil workers of “KarazhanbasMunai”, “ArgymakTransServis”, “TulparMunaiGaz” and “OzenMunaiGaz” (Daughter companies of “KazMunaiGaz”).


Oil workers strike in West Kazakhstan now in third month

Hundreds sacked and union lawyer sentenced to 6 years in jail

Intransigent employer refuses negotiations

Now a striker murdered!

Negotiations between the employers and the trade union representing our workers over the implementation of pay coefficients for regional and dangerous work broke down when the employer used security guards and the police to prevent our elected representatives, including the union’s lawyer Natalia Sokolova from participating in the work of the arbitration board.

Following a short hunger strike in early May, thousands of workers came out on strike. The employers have been assisted by the courts and the police. Hundreds of the strikers have been sacked. Two of the union’s elected negotiators, Natalia Sokolova and Akzhanat Aminov, at the request of the employer have been arrested and Natalia Sokolova has already been sentenced to 6 years in jail on charges of “stirring up social conflict”. No defense witnesses or independent experts were allowed by the judge during her trial. The house of another of the negotiators was subject to an arson attack by unknown persons. Now, one of our leading activists, Zhalsylyk Turbaev has been murdered.

The conflict has been going on for more than two months. The strikers and their families protest outside the gate of the employers every day under the searing sun. Now, because of the lack of wages, the economic position of the strikers and their families is getting worse by the hour.

At the present time, we are demanding the restoration of negotiations. Our only conditions are that our lawyer, Natalia Sokolova and trade union activist Akhzanat Aminiv are immediately released from prison, and that all those workers who have been fired are reinstated on their former contracts.

We call on all trade unions and worker activists in Kazakhstan, Russia, Europe and the world to support our just demands and organize a campaign of solidarity. We very much need your help and support, because the employers, together with the state are stamping on our rights at work, they are trying to destroy our right to trade union representation. Our leaders and elected representatives are sitting in jail, and a whole number of other activists are facing criminal and administrative charges. Hundreds of strikers have now been sacked.

The workforce is determined to fight to the end. But with your support we will be much stronger and we can overcome the resistance of the employers and the state that supports them.

Messages of protest can be sent to (KazMunaiGas - the company), (the local government) , (the state’s sovereign wealth fund that holds a majority of shares in KMG) and (Karazhanbasmunai – one of the subsidiary companies). A model letter of protest can be found on They should be copied to,, and Letters of solidarity can be sent to, and

We have established a special fund in Kazakhstan to provide support for the strikers families and especially children, with the new school year just weeks away. The management of the fund is being overseen by a committee of well know cultural figures from Kazakhstan, including editor of the Kazakh language paper “Zhas Alash” Ryspek Sarsenbayev, the international renowned artist Kanat Ibragimov, theatre director Bolat Atabaev, President of the “Leave our homes alone” campaign Yesenbek Ukteshbaev, trade union activist Igor Kolov, Vice President of the Republican “Zhanartu” trade union and President of the Kazakhstan Socialist Movement Ainur Kurmanov, Civic activist Bakhit Tumenova and writer and poet Mukhtar Shakhanov to ensure transparency and the correct use of funds. We have agreed with Member of the European Parliament, Paul Murphy from the Irish Socialist Party that he assists in raising money from the international trade union and workers’ movement and he has subsequently opened a bank account to which donations can be sent.

The details of the account are:

Workers Solidarity FundIBAN BE29 7340 3242 2964BIC KREDBEBB

All donations will be acknowledged.

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