Hopefully progress in the conflict at the Yanovska Factory
As reported, the employees of this factory, predominantly women, saw no option but to go on strike since in the last six months they had been paid for only two and a half months only. This payment, furthermore, was made in a very strange fashion – they had to make applications to be paid loans.
Progress of sorts can be seen in the fact that through unofficial sources the owner of the factory was established – a person called I. Abramov seemingly from Yenakievo. The very fact that the workers do not know who the owner is and official figures go limp or shrug their shoulders reflects a feudal or two-level structure of ownership. The real owner somewhere higher up (in parliament, for example) places some abramov-sidorov-petrov up front and the latter, as he sees fit, establishes his rule of law at the enterprise.
It should be noted that during the period in dispute, while the employees were not paid, the factory processed 111 million UAH worth of coal. The wage arrears come to 1.3 million UAH, plus 6.3 million from the period before privatization.
The fact that the factory has also not been paying contributions into social security funds for some reasons does not much both public officials. They say it’s a private enterprise, and not their problem.
On 7 July 80 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 on 10 July around 150 people walked in a 35 degree heat wave from the factory to the Prosecutor’s Office and handed their statements in. Thestatements were accepted, but later a representative from the Prosecutor’s Office brought them back and gave them to the strike committee, claiming that a criminal investigation had already been initiated, and that the statements weren’t necessary.
On 14 July, Mykola Kozyrev, from the human rights organization providing assistance, took these statements and sent them from the Committee back to the Prosecutor’s Office asking that they be attached to the criminal investigation, or if one has not been initiated, to have one launched. He also sent the Prosecutor General a statement reporting a crime committed by the Krasny Luch Prosecutor’s Office, under Article 364 of the Criminal Code (abuse of power or official position).
On 16 July the factory workers held a picket outside the Krasny Luch City Council where an extraordinary session was taking place. The Council issued a decision supporting the legitimate demands of the workers of the Yanovska Factory.
In accordance with this decision, the owner must pay all wage arrears and arrears to the social security funds within a week. The decision also orders the owner from July to pay wages in timely fashion and to bring remuneration into line with Ukrainian legislation. The owner is also ordered to cancel his order dismissing six members of the strike committee and in future to use no sanctions against strikers. Should the owner fail to implement the Council’s decision, the City Council will raise the question of handing the factory into state ownership. The deputies also decided to turn to the law enforcement agencies (the Prosecutor’s Office and the SBU – Security Service) to have the activities of the Yanovska Factory and the legally of the attempt to dismiss members of the strike committee checked.
The Council found the position of the owner in the conflict to be destructive and ordered him by the morning of 17 July to provide a schedule of debt repayment, and on Monday 20 July to begin repayments.