Uzbek Company Starts Paying Overdue Salaries After Mass Protests


The Uzbek company Enter Engineering has started paying overdue salaries to workers after they rioted over the back wages owed from the construction of a large gas-to-liquid facility.

An official who identified himself as a member of the company's special group investigating the mass protest told RFE/RL on October 22 that the workers' salaries are being paid off. Several workers confirmed to RFE/RL that they had received their overdue salaries for the past three months.

On October 21, thousands of workers at the facility under construction in the Guzor district rioted, storming the facility's administration building.


Video obtained by RFE/RL from the site showed ransacked offices with broken furniture and computers.

Some workers from the facility told RFE/RL then that Uzbek National Guard, security troops, and police were brought to the Guzor district to break up the riot.

Information about casualties was not made public.

One of the workers told RFE/RL on condition of anonymity that the riots started after Enter Engineering failed to provide employees with food on the evening on October 20, which added to the workers' ongoing frustration over unpaid salaries.

An official from the Tashkent-based firm said the riots started after workers were unable to open the massive door to the cafeteria due to a malfunction of its electronic locking system.

On October 22, a worker told RFE/RL that, besides overdue salaries and food issues, one of the main reasons for the riot was quarantine restrictions that postponed regular workers' shifts, forcing them to stay at the facility's construction site for long periods without seeing their families.

The Prosecutor-General's Office spokesman, Hayot Shamsutdinov, told reporters that the situation was being investigated.