Viktor Stukov: "I thought I`m going to Polotsk Court, and it turned out that it is the court of Irina Dorotko."
Judge of the Polotsk Court Irina Dorotko has rejected all of the arguments of the trade union leader Victor Stukov, and upheld the employer's decision to dismiss him. According to Victor Stukov, the objections of the trade union lawyer Elena Eskova were responded by the judge as follows: "I don't know about other courts, but here is my court!"
Today, on April 16, Judge Irina Dorotko of the Polotsk Court has passed her ruling on the case of dismissal of Victor Stukov, a worker of the "Polotsk-Steklovolokno" Factory and the chairman of the primary organization of the Free Trade Union of Belarus (SPB). Despite the clear violations of the labour legislation by the employer, the judge found the order on the worker's dismissal legitimate.
On the eve, on April 15, Judge Dorotko for the third time deprived the lawyer of the BKDP (Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions) Elena Eskova of the right to defend Victor Stukov at the trial, arguing that the litigation was lasting too long, and she had no time for drawing up the required documents for the union representative. Elena Eskova argued that for the first time in her long professional practice she face that sort of situation, since the law gives any worker the right to his or her representative at the trial. Irina Dorotko, according to Victor Stukov, objected in the same way: "I don't know about other courts, but here is my court!"
"The judge wouldn't consider a single argument in my defence," said the union leader, "although they clearly prove the illegality of my dismissal. In three of the four charges, brought against me by the employer, consent of the trade union to the dismissal is needed. The employer had no such consent. I was accused that I had worked without protective glasses. However, we have presented the results of the examination to the court, proving that these glasses are not useless, but also damage the worker's health. All these arguments have bypassed the judge. So, my hopes for justice were in vain."
The union intends to appeal against the decision to the higher instance and file a complaint against Judge Irina Dorotko to the Ministry of Justice.