KVPU-Ukraine: Protests of Workers of Lviv Coal Company

11 June 2014 the trade unionists of the primary trade union of Lviv Coal
Company picketed the building of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The major
demands were: reimbursement of salary debts for February, March and April 2014;
securing the sale of the products of the Company and ensuring the stable working

Private Joint Stock Enterprise (PJSE) “Lviv Coal Company” found itself in extreme economic situation because of non-sale of coal - the coal which is being concentrated by the Company. The concentrating factory of the PJSE is the third in Europe by its capacity and is able to process 9600 tons of coal annually. The company is able to process all the coal extracted in the mines of Lviv and
Volyn area. The concentrated coal had to procure all the fuel-burning power plants of the Western region of Ukraine.

The Company is owned by three firms from Lugansk and the state (which owns 37,6% of the statutory capital). Despite this the state doesn’t show any interest in the operation of the enterprise. There are 914 workers at the enterprise including 520 women. As of 11 June 2014 the Company’s salary debts have mounted to 8 mln Hryvnas. The workers are desperate as they don’t have means to feed their children. Along with that they don’t want to sponsor oligarchs.

Today the workers of the Company came to Kiev, hoping that the new government would listen to their needs and resolve the situation. Under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine they were holding posters saying “Give us work and give back salaries”, “No closure of mines”, “To working people – decent work!”

“We actually are in constant struggle for scanty earnings since 2012”, - said Olga Shkoropad, the head of the primary trade union of the Company, - “this problem is created by the state. The coal is primarily being supplied to three the biggest power stations in our region by Donbas coal enterprises and only a meagre amount from our local Company”.

A representative from the secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine came out to speak to the protesters and invited the leaders for negotiations.

After the negotiations Olga Shkoropad informed that the government will attempt to resolve the situation with the Company: “the issue of sole control by the state over the Company is being considered. Maybe this issue will be resolved through a bankruptcy process. Also the representatives of the Coal Mining Industry assured that the state is interested in the operative of the enterprise”.

From today the workers of Lviv Coal Company will cherish a dream that finally the state will resolve the stability of their work and the salaries will be paid out. At the same time the workers are determined to continue their struggle for decent work.