Kyiv court prohibits trade union protest against Ferrexpo
The Kyiv District Administrative Court has banned a peaceful protest action by the Ukrainian Trade Union “People’s Solidarity” against the actions of Ferrexpo plc which is planning to take pension privileges away from employees of the Ferrexpo Poltava Mining Iron Ore Expansion.[FPM]
The court ruling was apparently issued in the evening of 8 July, although the protesters only found out when they arrived outside the Prosecutor General’s Office for the start of the picket. The members of the trade union have not seen the ruling and know only that it was passed following an application by the Kyiv City State Administration.
The trade union has already held pickets outside the Ministry of Employment and Social Policy and the Cabinet of Ministers demanding that the government use their legal powers to safeguard the rights of these employees. On Friday the picket was to be in front of the Prosecutor General’s Office, and on Monday, 12 July, outside the President’s Administration.
The workers allege that FPM which belongs to National Deputy K. Zhevago is putting unlawful pressure on workers. Ferrexpo, they say, is trying, in breach of legislation to strip employees of their concessionary status which gives them the right to early retirement, so as to reduce costs on pension payments.
Employees work in very bad conditions which are a direct danger to their health.
Most importantly, according to legislation ALL workers in mines or quarries at a depth of more than 150 metres have the right to retire five years early.
The depth at Ferrexpo Poltava Mining Iron Ore Expansion is 302 metres.
Although Ferraxpo’s unlawful behaviour is entirely clear, employees’ appeals to the State authorities have not been properly addressed. The court examination of the case brought by employees against FPM has been blocked because the enriched ore company are refusing to provide the necessary documents. Nor has the Prosecutor reacted in any way.