RUSAL discriminates our members, trade union claims

The trade union of UC RUSAL’s Severouralsk bauxite mine (SUBR) is to carry out a protest picket in front of the municipal prosecution authorities’ office on April 30, 2010. The protesters’ main demand is that the prosecutor Dmitriy Famutdinov leave office after he failed to respond to the violation of workers’ rights, the Independent Trade Union of Russian Miners reports.

The protesters are planning to hold banners with slogans like, ‘RUSAL! Do respect workers’ rights and interests!’, ‘Let’s protect trade union activists! United Russia! Do vote FOR changes in Labor Code’s Article 374!’, ‘Let’s make President Dmitriy Medvedev’s calls for fighting corruption come true,’ ‘Stop discriminating trade union members!’, and ‘Fire prosecutor for idleness!’

Chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Russian Miners’ SUBR division Valeriy Zolotarev placed a complaint on the local authorities’ inertia with the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika in the winter of 2008. On March 25, 2008, after Severouralsk prosecution authorities and Sverdlovsk Region Labor Inspectorate had failed to react, Valeriy Zolotarev went on hunger strike. Two days later, the miners of Krasnaya Shapochka mine refused to leave the mine and went on strike as well.

‘The affairs are developing under the same scenario at the moment. RUSAL keeps violating the agreements signed on March 29, 2008 and discriminates the trade union members. Between October 2009 and April 1, 2010, ninety-nine workers were forced by the employer to leave the union. The complaints that we send to Severouralsk prosecution authorities do not result in anything because, just like a couple of years ago, the prosecutor prefers to do nothing and thus provides total impunity for our employer. The company, in its turn, takes advantage of the situation and keeps exerting pressure on the trade union members,’ the trade union reports.

‘We believe that the actions (or rather the inaction) of prosecutor Dmitriy T. Famutdinov are bound to result in some unpleasant outcome. On January 15, 2008, the prosecutor declared in front of two witnesses that he ‘was not going to do anything against the enterprise.’ We have the recording of this statement, actually. This is why we insist that Dmitriy T. Famutdinov be dismissed to ensure the rule of law, consolidation of legality, and protection of human rights and freedoms, of the rights and freedoms of the Russian Federation citizens, and of the public interests in Severouralsk,’ Valeriy Zolotarev says.


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