Ucrania - Doubtful lay-offs at customs office (2010)

In November, Zoya Chyzhniak, head of the trade union “Spravedlivyst”, was fired from the Sumy Regional Customs Office following an investigation that trade unions perceived as biased. The deputy-head of the union Ihor Nazarenko also lost his job in what appeared to be an artificially created lay-off situation. This happened after the union, which had already submitted numerous reports on violations of labour law, demanded that the authorities start a thorough disciplinary investigation against the head of the office.

The relations between the management and the union have been strained for years. The union has been fighting for the implementation of elementary occupational health and safety measures while its activists have been intimidated, humiliated and demoted. The local labour inspectorate as well as the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy were contacted for assistance, but they did not intervene.

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