Ukraine Regional Labour Movement Calls for ITUC Assistance in Protection of Rights of Workers of Ukrainian Ferro-Alloy Companies

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The Ukraine Regional Labor Movement (URLM), a Ukrainian non-governmental organization representing interests of employees of domestic ferro-alloy enterprises, has issued an open letter to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) asking to help protecting workers' right to labor. URLM supports the workers’ demand to correct the governmental electric energy tariff policy, which led to major personnel reductions in the Zaporozhye Ferro-Alloy Plant.

The Ukraine Regional Labour Movement (URLM), a Ukrainian non-governmental organization representing interests of employees of domestic ferro-alloy enterprises, has published an open letter to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) asking to help protecting workers' right to labor.

According to Maxim Golovin, the Chairman of URLM, the workers strive to minimize a negative impact of the government's non-optimal decisions on tariff formation, which led to personnel reductions in the Zaporozhye Ferro-Alloy Plant (Zaporizhferosplav, PFTS:ZFER, ZFER:UZ): "Due to the Ukrainian regulators' formal approach, Zaporizhferosplav was switched to the second class of electric energy consumption. It led to 40% growth of electric energy costs. At the same time Ukrainian ferro-alloy plants' payments for electric energy consumption were twice higher than their foreign peers' electricity expenses. Eventually, foreign ferro-alloy products were driving domestic products out of the market; 1,400 Zaporizhferosplav employees (or 39.5% of all staff) were reduced, and the average wages were decreased by 20%."

URLM jointly with Zaporizhferosplav Trade Union applies best efforts to counteract staff reduction and worsening of the situation in the plant. On 31 May, 2011, URLM supported Zaporizhferosplav Trade Union's demonstration of metallurgists and miners in Zaporozhye; the participants of the demonstration demanded to correct governmental electric energy tariff policy. On 8 June, 2011, Zaporizhferosplav Trade Union supported by URLM has filed an appropriate official letter to the Prime Minster of Ukraine. Zaporizhferosplav Trade Union's suggestions were supported by the Ukrainian Supreme Rada's Committees for industrial and regulatory policy, entrepreneurship, social policy and labour; however it did not led to successful results. On 13 September, 17 October and 29 November URLM supported Zaporizhferosplav workers picketing offices of Ukrainian governmental agencies responsible for electric energy tariff formation; however the authorities did not react to the workers' call to solve the problem.

Mr. Golovin added: "We are confident that it is impossible to solve the vital problems of Ukrainian workers-trade union members without involvement of authoritative international trade union organizations. We ask ITUC to step in to prevent further deterioration of Zaporizhferosplav workers' situation."

Contacts:
URLM
Maxim Golovin
labor-ua(at)yandex(dot)ru
Tel: +38 097 102 02 12

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Maxim Golovin
URLM
+38 097 102 02 12
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