Ucrania - Kurynivske trolleybus depot of Municipal Enterprise “Kyivpastrans” violates basic labour rights and refuses to recognise the creation of an independent union. Workers start a hunger strike in response.

Since April 2016, workers at the Kurynivske trolleybus depot of the municipal enterprise “Kyivpastrans” tried to create a local union affiliated with the Free Trade Union of Railway Workers of Ukraine (VPZU).

However, management refused to recognise the union and its legitimate activities, prohibiting it from exercising any function envisaged in the legislation to advocate for workers’ rights. The acts of retaliation escalated: no membership dues were transferred to the trade union account and unionised workers experienced psychological pressure, for example they were denied shifts, their schedules were changed, their bonuses were cancelled, they received unjustified reprimands and those who were living in company dorms were threatened with eviction. Furthermore, the company fired three activists without valid legal grounds and denied workers access to the collective bargaining agreement.

In response to these violations of basic labour rights, four members of the VPZU trade union of Railway Workers of Ukraine started a hunger strike on 3 February 2017 demanding an end to basic rights violations and the reinstatement of the three illegally dismissed workers. The workers that undertook the hunger strike are Andrew Samko, the head of the independent trade union of Kurynivska trolleybus depot, "KP Kyivpastrans”, and trade union activists Tatyana Oleynik, Natalia Pristinska and Andriy Troyan.

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