Case of the Free Trade Union in Babruisk started anew

2013 2013-12-05T23:55:00+0300 2013-12-05T23:55:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Babruisk Court again considers the case on payment of bonuses for the industrial achievements to members of the Belarusian Free Trade Union at the Tractor Parts and Assemblies Plant. Bear in mind that in spring 2013 the workers saw an ad on the stand, which reported that their workshop No. 2 is awarded wage bonuses of 200-300 thousand roubles for the high industrial culture. However, when they received the payment sheets, it turned out that the wages weren't paid to members of the Free Trade Union.

The leader of the trade union organization at the factory Mikhail Kavalkou and other members of the trade union consider it as an attempt to divide the workers into the "right" and "wrong" ones. They say that it is not so important for them to get these 300,000 as to defend their honor.

The workers went to court , but the judge Tamara Karpouskaya didn't grant their lawsuit. After that, Mikhail Kavalkou prepared a complaint to the Regional Court, which sent the case back for reconsideration. During the proceedings in Mahiliou Regional Court, the Counsel of the Tractor Parts and Assemblies Plant Henadz Dzeravianka stated that he had lost the register of applications, an important document in the case, in a route taxi.

On 3 December the case started to be tried anew in Babruisk City Court, from scratch, as noted by Judge Hanna Hermanava.

The sittting was attended by Mikhail Kavalkou and other members of the trade union who were deprived of the wage bonuses on the one hand, and by the head of the legal department of the plant, Andrei Valatkovich, Henadz Dzeravianka and the head of the security department Mikhail Karaliou.
At the very beginning of the hearing Andrei Valatkovich said that the trial should be suspended, as representatives of the administration filed a complaint against the verdict of Mahiliou Regional Court. Hanna Hermanovitch dismissed the petition and said that she hadn't received any papers on this subject from the regional court.

The judge read the document with the details of the case and voiced the workers' demand to be paid the wage bonuses of 300,000 rubles to each. She also invited the parties to resolve the matter peacefully. Mikhail Kavalkou cannot represent the interests of the workers at the trial, as far as the power of attorney that was attached to the case in the previous trials, is no longer valid.

Andrei Valatovich says that the plant is ready to pay the wage bonuses, but only to those who did not violate the internal regime and the safety regulations. He argues that there are such violators among the plaintiffs, but there are also those who just weren't paid the bonuses.

As far as the case
is considered again from scratch, the questions which have already been asked at the previous trial, led by Judge Tamara Karpouskaya, are asked again. The workers still state that the masters and foremen of the worshops explained the non-payment of the wage bonuses by their membership in the independent trade union. They also claim that they perform their work conscientiously and are worthy of awards.

We still don't know who deceided to punish us, because when we started to ask the foreman, he said it was the ideologist, the lattter said it was the head of the workshop, and so on,” says the worker Mikalai Zhybul. I would like to look in the eyes of the man who has deprived us of the wage bonuses. I have been working at the plant for 30 years and don't deserve such humiliation.

We were told that the Commission on Labor Disputes is invalid, all terms were already over. Ideologist Yeliseyenka advised us to go to court, and we did so,” said a member of the Independent Trade Union Aliaksandr Varankin.

The factory lawyer Andrei Valatkovich argues that he has no relation to the ads hanged on the information stand off the plant. The ads hung there for about ten days.

The fact that the ad was signed by the word “Adminstration” says nothing. It could be Kavalkou who put the ads. I didn't see them,” says Valatkovich. “We think that there is a Commission on Labor Disputes at the plant, as far as applications are considered and the commission functions.”

At the same time, the lawyer didn't manage to explain to the judge where the procedure for creating the Commission on Labor Disputes He just told that the workers of the office and the ideologist Uladzimir Yeliseyenka were responsible for it.

The judge proposed to summonse more witnesses, masters and foremen of workshops and the chief ideologist. The next hearing was appointed on 12 December.


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