Vladimir Tsvetkov, one of the workers of the GAZ Group, has organised a one-man protest in front of Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow where the American Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual gala-dinner on Saturday, December 6. Vladimir ‘greeted’ the arriving guests, among whom was the charge d'affaires for the US Embassy in Moscow, Julie Fisher, with a placard reading “We share history. We want to share a future. Stop US sanctions against GAZ workers. #SaveGAZ”.
The protest was part of a series of events organised by GAZ Group Workers’ Council to attract attention to the situation that the employees of the automobile plant are currently in. US sanctions are threatening to leave up to 1 million people without jobs. Earlier this month a group of 10 GAZ workers set out on a road trip to #SaveGAZ from US sanctions by highlighting plight of industry workers worldwide as a result of unfair and arbitrary sanctions.
During the rally the workers have already visited key European cities with major car plants, including Vienna, Graz, Ingolstadt, Stuttgart. In Vienna the workers organised a protest outside the official building of OPEC on the day of the organization’s meeting. In addition, the group also handed over their petition to the US embassy in Vienna. Next they will participate the IndustriAll Global Union’s Automotive Working Group in the German town of Düren/
Evgeny Morozov, Chairman of the GAZ Group Workers’ Council, said:
“The impact of sanctions is reverberating across the entire automotive industry. All our European partners want to continue working with us, but sanctions mean they are unable to plan any projects. Political disagreements should not destroy long-established and strong economic relationships and take the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people hostage. We will do everything we can to help save our jobs.”
GAZ was sanctioned in April 2018 by the US Treasury, which has since postponed any decision on lifting the sanctions on several occasions, most recently extending the deadline to 31 March 2020.
To support GAZ workers follow the official #SaveGAZ account on Twitter or Instagram – @FromRussiaForGAZ.
Information for editors
GAZ workers have been actively campaigning to save their plant. This year they have taken to the streets in front of the US Embassy and the US Ambassador's residence in Moscow to appeal to the US Government to lift sanctions imposed on GAZ workers.
See video here:
Since April 2019 #SaveGAZ flash mobs have been arranged via social media to bring together people who care about GAZ’s future.
The Automobile and Agricultural Machinery Workers' Union of the Russian Federation addressed IndustriALL Global Union in support of GAZ workers: http://www.industriall-union.org/russian-auto-workers-union-oppose-sanctions.
Young workers of Yaroslavl Motor Plant, part of GAZ Group, filmed a rap video to protest against the sanctions:
Photos of the start of the rally are available here: https://wetransfer.com/downloads/02d09a8b3a909203edfec027bd0c862520191129092304/0b0ffa193612374ca5064c401fd0475b20191129092304/5787b0