Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Social and economic rights

Striking workers at the Yanovska refining plant not giving in


As reported, workers from the factory, most of them women, have been on strike for almost a week. They are demanding almost three months pay due them, as well as social security payments for six months. . Their employers responded to the strike in regrettably inadequate (and illegal) fashion by sacking the employees most active in asserting their rights.

The local human rights organization assisting them advised them not to sign any documents since their labour conflict is entirely legal, having been first registered in April, and such measures cannot be tolerated. 

On Monday and Tuesday lawyers from the human rights organization, journalists, representatives of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions and the All-Ukrainian Union of Workers were at the factory giving the strikers support. They organized a strike committee, a primary trade union organization, and achieved publicity for the strike via the media, and sent information about the strike to all authorities.

On Tuesday 85 workers submitted a formal statement to the Krasny Luch Prosecutor reporting an offence under Article 175 of the Criminal Code (non-payment of salary or pension). An employee of the Prosecutor’s Office refused to take the statement, claiming that there was no formal authorization from the employees issuing the statement. For this reason, around 100 people are planning to personally arrive at the Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday.

The Director of the enterprise has been dismissed and somebody else sent from Kyiv. The latter has already invited members of the strike committee to negotiations on Wednesday.

The Governor of the region has also been recalled from his holidays and has sent his First Deputy to investigate the situation.

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