Free Trade Union of Private Joint Stock Company “Imperial Tobacco Ukraine” protests against violation of ILO Convention 98

On 9 April, 2013, the Free Trade Union of PJSC “Imperial Tobacco Ukraine” (ITU) a member of the Confederation of Free Trade Union of Ukraine got together at the entrance of the Company’s entrance gate in Kiev to protest against unlawful activities of the ITU management. The trade unionists and civil society activists called upon the employer to follow International and national legislation aiming at
improving the labour protection conditions at the enterprise and putting an end to pressure on the free trade unionists. The protest action was supported by the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine and representatives the IUF.

Kiev Tobacco factory – the affiliate of transnational company “Imperial Tobacco” with its headquarters in the Great Britain – has, until today, positioned itself as socially responsible. However, according to the free trade unionists, the ITU management affords to violate the international and national labour standards.
Evgen Stanevich, the head of the free trade union of the ITU stated: “We gathered here to protest because of the changes in working shifts introduced by the management without agreement with the primary free trade union. The management puts pressure on the free trade unionists. Several trade unions members hasn’t tolerated such a pressure and left the trade union”. According to Evgen, he himself experiences constant pressure at work.

The Protestants drew attention of the general public to the fact that the factory’s employees work in hazardous conditions. In the working environment, the ventilation system is in bad condition and the employees inhale the tobacco particles and dust during the whole working shifts. The employer has to
compensate the existing hazards with,at least, salary increments - that is not done. The trade union activists who fight for the rights are being fired or intimidated.

“We insist that the ILO Convention # 98, ratified by all countries and Ukraine, which bans the pressure on the employees with regard to their trade unions identification”. Why this Convention is neglected? We constantly witness the legal nihilism and systematic breaches of the agreements between the employer and the trade unions”- said Evgen Stanevich.

The Free Trade Union of the ITU advanced their demands, claiming to follow the ILO Convention # 98, national labour legislation and the law “About Trade Unions Their Rights and Guarantees of Their Activities”.