Ucrania - Statement of the Independent Trade Union of Coal Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) denounces the beating of trade union leader

On 3 February 2016, the head of the primary Trade Union of Coal Miners of Ukraine (NPGU) at the Novovolynska mine, Anatolyi Mukhamedzhanov, was severely beaten in the office of the director of the coal mining enterprise. After the beating, he visited a medical centre and addressed the local police and the State Security Service department.

The purpose of this attack was to intimidate the leader of the independent trade union, as he had been denouncing, together with other NPGU leaders and activists, the reckless privatisation programme that will dismantle the mine sector in Ukraine. Trade unionists and activists are constantly under pressure and intimidation, including physical abuse. For example, representatives of the Minister of Energy and Coal Mining Industry, Mr. Volodymyr Demchyshyn, used physical violence to intimidate the NPGU leader who had been demonstrating against Orders No. 41 and No. 42. Such ministerial orders envisaged the privatisation of the best mines in the country and the closure of three out of four of the remaining state-owned mines. Neither of the Orders have been discussed nor approved by trade unions (in breach of the law) and the Government has showed no interest in the destiny of those miners who will remain unemployed once this privatisation project is completed, which has legitimately angered trade unionists and activists.

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