The workers are being represented by leaders of the Steel & Engineering Workers of New Zealand (SEWUN) and are claiming that their Russian managers have dismantled stem rods and anodes and have dismantled parts of the plant and sold off machinery and raw materials.

Workers have produced an illustrated document highlighting the alleged destruction of the plant by the Russians, claiming that they want to halt aluminium ingot production for good.

Rusal denied the workers' claims. A UC Rusal spokesman said that the workers' claims were misleading and that Rusal was disposing of unrealisable assets that were either obselete or unsuitable for future use.