Togliattiazot Workers Collected Signatures of the City Population in Support of the Plant

Last Friday marked a campaign for the collection of signatures in support of Togliattiazot in five locations of Togliatti, reports Ъ-Volga on the spot. The campaign was organised in the park and at the embankment of Komsomolsky District, in Lenta Supermarket, in Kosmos Shopping Mall, and in the square in Tsentralny District of Togliatti.

“Signatures are collected by Trade Defence of Togliatti, an organisation which set itself a goal to protect TOAZ against slander and attacks from minority stakeholder, as well as against judicial abuse. Signatures can be put by those who support the enterprise and believe that the truth is with it,” explained the PR Office of Togliattiazot to Ъ-Volga.

Signatures will be put under a personal message to Governor of the Samara Region Mr Dmitry Azarov, where the authors request him to stand up for the enterprise.

“Signatures are collected by representatives of a non-commercial organisation set up by a team of plant workers. To be easily recognised, they are wearing special helmets and vests. So far, we have collected around three thousand signatures. To do this, we did not only go to the streets, but also contacted municipal organisations, kindergartens, schools, asset management companies, Medical Station No. 8 of Komsomolsky District where we asked to support us as well. Beside the preparation of the message to the Governor, as part of the campaign we distribute leaflets which contain an overview of our organisation so that people could come home, read about us, and give it a thought. Maybe next time when they take in a signature collection campaign, they will support us self-consciously,” told Ъ-Volga Chair of Togliattiazot Trade Union Ms Olga Sevostyanova.

Signatures in support of TOAZ will be collected at public places for one more week. The organisers of the campaigns estimate that at least 5,000 citizens will express their solidarity with the enterprise.

On 5 July 2019, Komsomolsky District Court sentenced in absentia former leaders of Togliattiazot and other defendants in the case to eight and a half and nine years of imprisonment.

The trial, in which former leaders of TOAZ were accused of billions worth embezzlement during the sale of products, started in February 2018. According to the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation, during the period from November 2007 to March 2012 the top managers of the plant stole the whole volume of ammonia and urea produced by the enterprise and sold it at a reduced price to Nitrochem Distribution AG of Switzerland, which than sold the products at market value.

The investigation believed that the accused misappropriated stolen products of the plant worth almost 85 billion rubles. The defence noted that, over the years, the company has received more than 65.5 billion rubles in revenue, paid salaries and taxes to the budget, as well as dividends to shareholders, and the calculation of the value of Togliattiazot’s products, on which the accusation was based, contained gross errors.

The lawyers of TOAZ also reported “unprecedented pressure that the executives, workers and even legal advisors of Togliattiazot were exposed to both during the investigation and the trial”. Consequently, TOAZ representatives lodged an appeal against the judgment of Komsomolsky District Court.

At the end of July, during the first open meeting of the plant workers a resolution was made to establish a standing anti-crisis committee “Trade Defence of Togliatti”. The organisation set itself a goal to draw the attention of the federal and regional authorities to the issue of Togliattiazot.

In the same month, the plant’s trade union held a rally and passed a resolution in the name of Governor Dmitry Azarov with a request to address the issue of TOAZ. According to Olga Sevostyanova, as of yet the requestors have only received an acknowledgement of receipt from the Governor’s Office with no official response so far.

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