Recent notices received:
Dear Friends and comrades,
I attach an urgent article/appeal written by friends in Ukraine for the
Poltava Miners who are currently engaged in an increasingly bitter
struggle against their employer in West Ukraine.
*Can you please publish this on your website/publication – circulate it
as widely as possible.*
These courageous workers need your help.
Please contact me if you need further information.
Yours in solidarity
The Commune wrote:
A major dispute is underway between mineworkers in Poltava in West Ukraine and Ferrexpo Plc, a major player on the global market mainly engaged in mining of iron ore. All three shifts in the open cast in the town of Komsomolsk, of more than 300 workers each are now involved in industrial action. Some railway locomotive drivers and workers on the iron ore concentrating factory have joined in solidarity.
The action started on 1st August at 10am when the workers at the ore-dressing open cast pit started at first with a go-slow and work-to-rule. The action began when haul trucks drivers on their way down to the 305 meter deep quarry reduce speed of the vehicles from normal 40-45 km/h to the more safe 10-15 km/h. Excavator and bulldozer operators, as well as drilling technicians then joined the action in solidarity. Within 24 hours of the workers’ action total rock production had fallen by less than 60% of normal volume. This impact of the workers resistance is continuing.
The cause of the dispute was a recent re-evaluation of workplaces which led to the opencast mine workers being moved from the ‘1st list’ (which implies heavy-load conditions) to the ‘second list’. This means abolition of a number of benefits:
The retirement age will be lifted from 50 to 55 years;
required working life will be increased from 20 to 25 years;
required length of service at heavy-load workplaces – from 10 to 12.6;
10 days will be cut from annual holiday entitlement
Evaluation is done every 5 years; after the previous one, workers kept their ‘first list’. Since then their trucks became older, while the mine grew even deeper. Despite the fact that the certification of job hazard categories is in contravention of Ukrainian law all legal means to contest it led to protracted and unresolved cases in the courts.
Send Messages of Solidarity to:
‘Narodna solidarnist’ trade union
Telephone: +380 44 2291167,
Fax: +380 44 5298901;