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Striking Dockers in Far East Russia Pelt New Management With Helmets

The strike has been ongoing since Oct. 1. Yuri Smityuk / TASS

Striking dockers in Russia’s Far East capital of Vladivostok tossed their helmets at upper management in protest during an attempted negotiation Monday, the local VL.ru news website reported.  

Video shows the Far East Shipping Company (FESCO) President Arkady Korostelev and Roman Kukharuk, the newly appointed manager of its subsidiary the Commercial Port of Vladivostok, attempting to walk toward an improvised stage under the rain of helmets. As the two managers turn to leave, some workers in the angry crowd can be seen attempting to grab Korostelev and hit him. 

The workers had gathered for negotiations with Korostelev to end the strike but became outraged after he allegedly referred to them as “cattle” while walking through their ranks, VL.ru wrote.

FESCO representatives have called the workers’ actions Monday “unjustified” and vowed to file a criminal complaint over the helmet-throwing.   

Port of Vladivostok employees went on strike last week after the company’s board fired port manager Zairbek Yusupov and appointed Kukharuk in his place. 

The striking port workers believe Yusupov was ousted due to company politics and fear that working conditions will worsen under his replacement. 

“Everyone was outraged with the news and gathered to show disagreement [with the decision]. Yusupov is a living example of how to build a stellar career in the shipping industry and to remain honest with both stakeholders and ordinary workers. He became a true leader for us and I hope we will be able to defend his place,” the striking head of the port supply department told VL.ru. 

Port management has said it believes Yusupov instigated the strike and has threatened to pursue legal action against the striking workers. 

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