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Whereon Do Red Tomatoes Grow?

Whereon Do Red Tomatoes Grow?
Galina Dmitrieva, Vitaly Nikulin 08.11.2007

During Soviet times state farm "Moscow" was known as a high-tech hothouse farm which produced products for the "Kremlin". Today about 1000 people (on its official site it is specified that 2,5 thousand) work on Closed Joint-Stock Company "Agrocombinat Moscow". Manufacture is divided into 12 branches (shops). Only nonresident Russians are being employed to work. They are hired - on a work-record book and labour contract but its copy is not given on hands.

 

Salary - a bargain plus salary. On gathering they pay 5 roubles for 1 box of the collected fruits. In a day it's possible usually to collect from 100 up to 200 boxes, though much, certainly, depends on a harvest. Thus, nominal salaries during a season - 20-30 thousand roubles. However, they really pay 10-16 thousand: cut off and do not explain the reason. To all attempts to talk it over the management answer by cries and gross-out.

 

The working day lasts 14 hours - from 6 in the morning till 8 in the evening. However, they don't pay for 6 hours at workplace over obligatory 8. There are no days off and they pay for a work during week-ends as for usual day (instead of double payment as it is necessary according to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation). Thus they deduct for one day absence 1000 roubles.

 

But these are, so to say, exclusive conditions.

 

In the 1st shop (mushrooms) working day lasts from 6 in the morning till 10 in the evening and so that nobody has a desire to leave earlier, people are simply locked in a hothouse. Nine-to-five, so to say. Probably due to the fact that they have neither force, no time for a dialogue with colleagues from other shops, there is no more detailed information about working conditions of "mushroom pickers". However, it is precisely known that for a month of work they were paid 6 thousand roubles.

 

In the 11th shop (tomatoes) - conditions are better: working day is from 6 in the morning till 7 in the evening and the same 6 thousand roubles for a month of work.

 

Handlers are also engaged in gathering of harvest besides own work. The work of a handler is heavy - hands are constantly in the raised position, all the day long astir on the carriage on wheels. Because of weariness people fall from carriages that often ends with traumas. Because of the hatches opened under a ceiling in hothouses there is constant draft. Big difference of temperatures: under a ceiling - a steam room, above the ground - is cold. People catch a cold, many have blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases become aggravated.

 

Fertilizers applied have a drag that resembles dichlorvos, it leads to constant headaches, nausea, vomiting, weakness. Certainly, they don't also pay for maleficence. What for? In fact sick-lists are also not paid and medical insurance is not made.

 

Turnover is, certainly, enormous but "old residents" remember the case when a pregnant woman was dismissed. By the way about the turnover: the newcomers are being paid little and people, having worked for a month, leave (again direct benefit).

 

It is possible to pinch pennies!

 

Workers live in the hostels readjusted from hothouses. The biggest - three-storey, is divided into compartments (rooms). There are more than 300 people on a floor. It's possible to make registration on a place of residing but nobody risk to check its authenticity.

 

Lonely women and men live separately, meanwhile "family" are lodged in a "camp" - in one room (possibly believing that these skilled people should be comfortable).

 

Two-storey cots stand almost end-to-end to each other so nearby 150 people live in a room. It turns out that a person occupies less than 1 meter (twice less than on a cemetery). There is one bathroom and one bath-point on a floor where 3 (it's a luck if - 4) cabins are in working condition.

 

There is a dining room but it works only from 11.00 a.m. till 1.00 p.m. They cook on electric stoves. A kitchen is on the second floor. About 10 rings (a part, certainly, does not work) for the whole hostel. In the same place the only electropoint - sockets are situated. Linen are being dried near a washstand or near a ladder.

 

From time to time they go and check "cleanliness" in the rooms. At 11 in the evening they switch off electricity.

 

On a check point the guards constantly checks bags. Often they come to check to the hostel whether somebody steals tomatoes. One working woman, having eaten two tomatoes from a bed, received food intoxication - vomiting.

That is the base tomatoes grow on...


From editorial board: The state farm "Moscow" is a cult place for the Russian parliamentary opposition - all congresses and plenums of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation pass there. There are some bases to believe that there are interests of outstanding figures of a party in a structure of the property of former state farm. However Closed Joint-Stock Company is a closed joint-stock company so that to hide true owners of the actives.

 

It's known from mass-media that the general manager of Closed Joint-Stock Company "Agrocombinat Moscow" Evgenie Sidorov posesses 10,06 % of shares of "Moscow". Native brother of Sidorov - Sergey supervises 9,93 % of shares more. 43 % of shares are distributed between three LLC whose proprietors are unknown, 13,7 % of shares belong to Victor Semkin, the assistant to the general director of the combine. They don't comment in the company who owns the rest.

 

In any case, "Moscow" for "the communists" - is a sign place. And the facts of severe exploitation of workers on such enterprise look especially crying.

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