Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Members of miners trade union are threatened.


The independent trade union of miners of Ukraine (ITUM) held a congress in Kyiv and re-elected its leader Mykhaylo Volynets. Volynets considers that one of the reasons of his popularity is that he appealed to ambassadors and leaders of various countries with the request to react at the pressure of some government forces on trade unions activities.

Mykhaylo Volynets told that on the eve of the congress more than 30 members of the trade union turned to him and informed about threats. The miners independent trade union is a structure, which energetically supports the transparent from of payments in the mining industry.

The trade union, as an organization dissatisfied with state authorities, supported Yushchenko’s government and the work of former vice-Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. That is why, along with economic, political reasons of the persecutions exist. ’The matter is that the persecutions of the ITUM began after we joined the Forum of national salvation and the action ’Ukraine without Kuchma’, informed M. Volynets. Most political analysts consider that it is a part of the campaign on the side of the Donetsk oblast rulers, who want to subdue the ITUM thus to master the miners electorate.

According to the UNIAN agency, the Kyiv militia tried to hamper the work of the 4th congress of the ITUM. Mykhaylo Volynets said: ’When the congress already commenced its work, militia appeared and demanded the mayor’s permission to hold the congress. The hall was blocked. MPs, delegates of the congress and leaders of foreign trade unions crowded at the entrance. Besides, faked miners in civil clothes were sent to the congress to upset its work. After all militia had to let the crowd enter the hall’. After this the congress continued its work at changing the Statute of the ITUM.

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