Ucrania - Employer avoids dialogue with the trade union, discriminates against activists (2012)

Reorganisation and staff lay-offs took place in February at Prydniprovska Railways’ Synelnikove locomotive depot in February without the agreement of the trade union committee. The chair of the local trade union (a KVPU affiliate) Tetyana Lymar and her deputies were demoted to lower paid jobs without any agreement with the trade union. Union members faced pressure and were threatened with dismissal. The KVPU complained to the Prosecutor’s Office and to the State Labour Inspection of Ukraine. The inspectors found there had been both violations of the Labour Code and of the Branch Agreement. A.M.Sitalo, the Chief of the Prydniprovska Railways’ Synelnykove depot, has been called to administrative account.

The Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine excluded the Free Trade Union of Science and Education of Ukraine (VPONU, a minority branch union, affiliated to the KVPU) from the collective bargaining process, and signed a Branch Agreement with only one trade union despite the fact that before the signing of the Agreement a Joint Representative Body of Trade Unions (JRTUB) was created including two trade union organisations. VPONU appealed to the Ministry.

Twenty seven miners died and 14 were injured on 29 July at the “Sukhodilska-Skhidna” mine, including NPGU members. Another accident took place at the “Krasnokutska” mine owned by the State Enterprise “Donbassantratsyt” on 4 August, in which four miners, all NPGU members, were injured. According to Ukrainian legislation, an investigation has to be carried out into these group accidents, and a representative of the trade union must be included in the commission. In both cases the Chair of the NPGU appealed on the day of the incident to the Prime Minister, asking to be included in the commission. In both cases the government ignored his request. The NPGU complained to the ITUC and ICEM Secretaries General as well as to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Associations, and appealed to the Administrative Court of Kiev.

The Free Trade Union of Medical Workers of Ukraine (FTUMWU – an affiliate of the KVPU) was excluded from the collective bargaining process at branch level. The collective agreement was signed in July by the Ministry of Health Care and the Trade Union of Health Care Workers of Ukraine (the FPU’s affiliate), without the participation of the FTUMWU in July 2011.

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