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BKDP leader Alexander Yaroshuk addressed the Minister of Labor and Social Protection Marianna Shchetkina in connection with hunger strike of the leaders of Mozyr Oil Refinery local independent union Yuri Shvets and Vasili Alkhovski started today. In this address Alexander Yafroshuk urged for early meeting of the Council for improvement of legislation in social and labor spheres with inviting the Mozyr Oil Refinery employer and the leadership of independent union in order to take measures to stop discrimination of the union and reprisals against its members. 

         We recall that October 14 the Chairperson of independent union at OAO ”Mozyr Oil Refinery” Company  Yuri Shvets and his Deputy Vasili Alkhovski started a three-day hunger strike. The union leaders went in for this desperate act because starting from 2008 until now the company management started continuous pressure, reprisals, discrimination, violations of Constitytional, labor and civil rights of workers.    
Recently, the company management has dismissed at one time at least five members of independent union: married couple Gennady and Tatiana the Bobrovnikovs from the design-construction bureau, workers from the shop # 12 Vladimir Kliuchnikov, Alexey Ermak and Ivan Shaban. These workers were imposed numerous penalties based on willful prefabricated accusations carried to the point of absurdity which then have become grounds not to extend their short-term contracts.
            The union leadership is sure that disciplinary penalties imposed on the workers in any way correspond to the gravity of the charged violations and do not go in line with norms of the Labor Code of the Republic of Belarus. The addresses of the independent union to the employer, prosecutor office and the court have yielded no positive result.
            Yuri Shvets and Vasili Alkhovski demand that the company administration should stop unlawful acts in relation to members of independent union at Mozyr Oil Refinery. They insist on starting full and just investigation of the dismissal of Gennady Bobrivnikov and his wife Tatiana Bobrovnikov, Vladimir Kliuchnikov, Alexey Ermak and Ivan Shaban involving competent and independent experts. Union leaders demand that disciplinary punishments should be abolished and the contracts of the dismissed workers should be extended based on terms and conditions envisaged by the national legislation and local legal acts in force in the company”. In case the demands will be neglected Yuri Shvets and Vasili Alkhovski will declare an indefinite hunger strike.
     It is stressed in the letter of the BKDP leader tat the leadership of BKDP and Belarusian Independent Union (BNP) tried to interfere in the situation. Alexander Yaroshuk  jointly with Nikolai Zimin (BNP) tried to meet the General Director of the OAO “Mozyr Oil Refinery” Company but each time he denied the meeting.
     The conflict that appeared between management of the OAO”Mozyr Oil Refinery” on the grounds of discrimination of members of independent union may bring unpredictable consequences. In order not to lead the situation to the deadlock the BKDP leader calls on urgent meeting of the Council for improvement of labor legislation in social and labor sphere under the auspice of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (formed by the government as a instrument of implementing ILO recommendations on restoring workers’ rights in the country). He also suggests to invite the management of the Mozyr Oil company and the leadership of the company independent union and to resolve the conflict.
Taking into account that discrimination and pressure on members of independent unions became an everyday practice at many other enterprises Alexander Yaroshuk considers this important that except the General Director of Mozyr Oil Refinery Anatoli Kupriyanov also Eduard Gavrilkovich –director of RUUP”Granit” of Mikashevichi - and Alexander Agranovich –director of RUP “Bkobruisk tractor parts and aggregates” company - are to be invited to the above Council meeting as well. At these companies mass reprisals against members of independent unions openly are taking place that have already caused mass dismissals of workers for refusal to leave independent unions.
     It is stressed in the address that “if urgent measures on the part of the government are not taken on stopping outrage and discrimination other unionists may follow the example of Yuri Shvets and Vasili Alkhovski and organize similar or other most desperate forms of protest. Continuous reprisals and persecutions of workers on the ground of their affiliation to independent unions force them to resort to radical actions. The BKDP cannot and will not watch cold-heartedly the way violence and lawfulness are committed against members of its affiliates and will not limit itself only by statements and calls to stop the lawfulness and put an end to outrage in relation to our colleagues.”

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