Ucrania - Workers of the EVRAZ Sukha Balka mining company associated with the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine (NGPU) are being discriminated

In blatant anti-union behaviour, the EVRAZ Sukha Balka mining company tried to discourage the existence and the activity of the NGPU-associated trade union in the enterprise. Throughout the year, the mine company, based in the city of Kryviy Rih, perpetrated multiple violations of human rights against unionised workers, limiting in a variety of ways the right of the company union to advocate for the social and economic rights of its affiliates. In response, discriminated and harassed miners denounced the enterprise’s anti-union behaviour to foreign authorities, including through various appeals filed on 25 February (No.242) and on 5 April (addressed to UK Members of Parliament).

The Sukha Balka mine is part of the EVRAZ group whose headquarters are in London. The London-based company presents itself as a transparent and socially responsible company, declaring that it adheres to the laws of the United Kingdom, but it is not transparent or socially responsible at its Ukrainian company. The EVRAZ Sukha Balka General Director of Administration has systematically refused to provide the trade union with the requested information concerning the company’s enforcement of current legislation, collective agreements and wage payments. Trade union activity has been boycotted with systematic actions directly affecting unionised workers. Company division heads and the heads of their subsections falsified reports of workers’ administrative infringements, imposing disciplinary sanctions on a fallacious legal basis and then exploited this situation to make workers resign from the trade union, which happened to Volodymyr Tkachenko (a member of the mine construction team), who was firstly suspended and then dismissed. Another case of explicit anti-union discrimination was that of Yuri Yurchenko, an excavator machinist of the railway workshop and member of the NGPU branch organisation and of the conciliation commission for collective labour disputes. Mr.Yurchenko witnessed his salary being reduced twice and his professionalism undermined when he was suspended from his role as machinist and assigned to the lower role of locksmith. The deputy head of the NGPU branch union, Mr. Serhiy Barabashchuk, was also the victim of discrimination, as the management prevented him from completing his qualification exams and threatened him with dismissal because of his union activism.

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