Профспілка "Захист Праці" (UNI, IUF)

INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION "ZAKHYST PRATSI" (UNI, IUF) tel. +380 50 358 71 48

Ukraine: Miners at Ferrexpo company start Italian strike

Posted by admin на Серпень 4, 2010

Ferrexpo Poltava Mining JSC (Poltavs’kyi HZK VAT), main Ukrainian producer and exporter of iron ore pellets, which are used for steel producing, dramatically decreased ore production due to the ‘go-slow’ and ‘work-to-rule’ strike.

Strike began at 10 a.m. on August, 1 when heavy dumper drivers on their way down to the 300 meter deep open-cast reduced speed of the vehicles from normal 40-45 km/h to the more safe 10-15 km/h. It should be noticed that maximum officially allowed speed for heavy dumpers in the quarry is only 32 km/h, but due to high output norms drivers were encouraged to violate this rule systematically. Excavator and bulldozer operators, as well as drilling technicians have joined the action. After first 24 hours of strike total lode rock production dropped by more than 40% (it decreased to aprox. 46-49 thousand tonns per day while normal figure is 90-100). Next 24 hours will probably show even smaller output figures.

Strike was provoked by re-evaluation of job hazard categories introduced at the beginning of the year 2010. Most of the workers were removed from so-called “first list”; as a result, their retirement age will be raised by 5 years. Also, their paid vacation time will now be reduced, and bonus payments eliminated. Despite of the fact that re-evaluation of this kind run counter to Ukrainan law all legal means to contest it only led to infinite protraction of case in courts.

All tree shifts – each more than 300 employees strong – are now involved in strike. Virtually one thousand of workers taking part in the strike are losing now approximately 40% of salary due to the underfulfilment of output norms; still, they consciously went on strike in order to secure fair and legal job hazard evaluation and increase in salary.

Unfortunately, mine management have escalated tension declaring that there is no strike at all and that mining facilities are functioning in ‘normal’ mode. International solidarity and pressure is very important to persuade the employer to enter negotiations.

In these dramatic days of open class conflict Ferrexpo workers appeal to labour and trade-union organizations of the world for solidarity and support. Only our unity will bring us victory!

Please send letters of protest and solidarity tomanagement of Ferrexpo Mining:

Swiss Ferrexpo Fax
+41 41 769 3660
London Ferrexpo Fax +44 207 389 8300
Poltava Ferrexpo Fax +380 5348 21670

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