Ucrania - Judicial persecution of FPU (2011)

In different regions of Ukraine, such as Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Kirovohrad, Luhansk, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Chernighiv and in Kyiv, individuals have been filing lawsuits against organisations affiliated to the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) and against trade union leaders, seeking to reverse trade unions’ decisions, suspend the leaders, and dissolve the organisations. The plaintiffs asked the courts to order the defendants to present internal trade union documents, such as minutes of meetings, certificates and seals. Many of the claims contained forged addresses, incorrect job titles of the plaintiffs and false references to the decisions of trade union bodies that allegedly violated the plaintiffs’ rights.

The trade unions had to dedicate considerable time and energy to the legal proceedings, which interfered with normal trade union work. Although the judgements were delivered in the absence of plaintiffs, were backdated and were not subject to appeal, by the end of 2010 FPU had won 121 cases of the 125 filed against it.

After numerous appeals to the President of Ukraine, the Government, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice and other state bodies, the FPU finally achieved a positive result. The Constitutional and Supreme Courts of Ukraine confirmed that courts do not have the authority to decide on trade union internal activities.

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