Belarusian Trade Union leaderS go on hunger strike at Mozyr refinery

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The chairman of Belarusian Independent Trade Union’s primary organization at Mozyr refinery Jury Shviec intends to go on hunger strike on 14 October.

This way the activist is going to protest against the arbitrary rule on the part of enterprise’s administration and unfair treatment of the independent trade union’s members.

According to Jury Shviec, since 2008 the administration of Mozyr refinery has been putting pressure, discriminating, violating the constitutional, labour and civil rights of the independent trade union’s members.

The last drop of Jury Shviec’s patience ran out as five independent trade union members were fired – the employees of the engineering department spouses Hienadz and Tacciana Babrouniks, the workers of the workshop number 12 Uladzimir Kluchnikau, Aliaksiej Jarmak and Ivan Shaban. Multiple penalties were imposed on these employees on fabricated charges, which were the reason for not prolonging labour contracts with them.

The trade union leader is convinced that the disciplinary penalties, imposed on these employees did not correspond to the violations they are charged with and also contradict the norms of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus. Independent Trade Union’s appeals to the administration of the enterprise, prosecutor’s office and court did not produce a positive outcome in that just like in many other cases.

Mozyr refinery’s director general Anatol Kupryjanau does not want to meet Jury Shviec and the Council of representatives of the Independent Trade Union’s primary organization for discussing the situation. Anatol Kupryjanau also refused to meet the chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union Mikalaj Zimin and the leader of Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions Aliaksandr Jarashuk.

In this situation Jury Shviec decided to take desperate measures – he intends to start a three-day hunger strike on 14 October. In the case his demands are not met, he will be ready to go on a termless hunger strike.

- I do not have another choice, because it is the matter of the lives of the people. I demand that illegal actions towards members of the Independent Trade Union were stopped at Mozyr refinery. I insist on a full and objective investigation of the circumstances of the dismissal of Hienadz and Tacciana Babrouniks Uladzimir Kluchnikau, Aliaksiej Jarmak and Ivan Shaban with the participation of competent and independent experts. I demand that the disciplinary penalties, imposed on them, were lifted and the labour contracts prolonged on the conditions provided by the country’s legislation and the local enterprise’s regulations, - Jury Shviec says.

On October17,Vasili Alkhovski, Vice-chairperson of Mozyr Oil Refinery Company primary-level organization of Belarusian Independent Union (BNP) went on hunger strike as well to support Yuri Shvets, despite the fact that  now he has a leg fracture and is on a sick leave today he came to his workplace and declared that he joins Yuri Shvets and says that at this moment he cannot do other than he does.

"To support our leader Yuri Shvets is my commitment. I fully share his demands addressed the employer,"  says Vasili Alkhovski.


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