Manager of a private firm, Syrdarya region, May 2017

September 15, 2017

“I’m the manager of a private firm which specializes in construction, employing about 30 people. If I’m not mistaken, I received a phone call from the city administration’s architecture department on 17th May. I was asked to visit them in connection with an urgent issue. I was there on time. The head of the department received and welcomed me. He then went straight to the point and told me that work had begun on the cotton fields and that they needed five people to dig up the roots of cotton plants. During the conversation, he did not forget to hint that it was a civic duty. I had to agree, because, although we are a private organization, we are still under state control.

Although they told me that this scheme would last 10-15 days, it took longer than that. I provided them with people for almost 20 days to dig up the roots of cotton plants. It was during a peak period of construction work. We had an order to build showroom apartments. I did not recruit my people to dig up the roots of cotton plants. If I had sent them to the cotton fields, they would not have been pleased, since there is no mention of that kind of work in their contracts. Everyone has his/her own responsibilities. This is why I decided not to bother the employees and instead hired casual laborers for 10 days. I brought them to a representative of the city administration and they started working in the cotton fields from 21st of May. It was not only the five people hired by me; workers of other entrepreneurs worked in the cotton fields, too. I could have refused to hire and send these people to that job, but after speaking to business people who are more experienced than me, I understood that I’d better do what had been ordered. They told me that my state-related issues would be solved more easily if I obeyed the rules. So I followed their advice”