Ukraine: Bosses use war emergency to attack workers

We didn’t have to wait long for news about the abusive implémentation of the law “About the organization of labor relations in conditions of military state” (Law No. 2136 (Law). The bosses’ cynicism is clear, as they are trying to dismiss workers in the electricity-producing industry, and those providing evacuation services, treatment.of war victims and contributing economic stability.

On the day the Law entered into force,, March 24th, the Director of “Chernobyl NPP”.company in Slavutič ordered the preparation of a list of employees who allegedly cannot work, so that the company can proceed to suspend the employment contracts with them. The employer calls this situation “partial downtime”, although this suspension does not entitle workers to any payment as in some other types of no fault suspensions of work. The company is also trying to suspend the implementation of the part of of the collective agreement relating to employee wellbeing.

Meanwhile, the managers of “Ukrainian Railway” have; obliged their heads of units to prepare a list of employees with which it is proposed to suspend the employment contracts. The stated reason is a reductiom of the amount of work required, due to the Russian military aggression. The director of the “Center of Repair and Exploitation of Locomotives” in Kiev has prepared a letter based on this instruction, suspending workers’ contacts.

Genuine reasons for such steps were not named. As the Ministry of Economics clarified, the condition for suspending the effect of the labor contract should be the absolute inability to provide and perform work. Even the Federation of Employers formally respects the Negotiated Suspension approach.. Such a step should be implemented by issuing an order in a standard form, according to the agreement of the parties, with only a few exceptional cases However, some enterprises are ready to use this opportunity unilaterally and massively.

In one Kyiv region hospital, under the declared military state, nurses were transferred to another job. In fact, the law allowes “only to reverse or eliminate the consequences of combat, as well as other circumstances that threaten or may threaten people’s life or normal living conditions.” However, in this case, the transfer order was only motivated by managers desire to change the work organisation.

At the Kryvyi Rog metalworks, management refuses to give employees preferential vacations. This is against Chapter12 of the Law. Managers ierpret the specified norm assonad to limit the maximum duration of the main annual vacation to 24 calendar days. But Chapter 6 Holiday Act guarantees a number of categories of employees the provision of longer annual leave: for the industrial and manufacturing staff of the metalurgical industry, this can be as long as 28 calendar days.

Thousands of metal workers serving and volunteering are dissatisfied with these restrictions. The position of the employer is an abuse, an attempt to impose more advantageous working conditions compared to that guaranteed to workers by normal legislation.

“Social Movement” urges unions to respond to those actions of employers that lead to the growth of social tension by eliminating employees’ legitimate and deserved guarantees. The authorities must suspend those managers who turned out to be unable to properly organize work during war time.

30 March 2022

Translated by ESSF from Соціальний рух.

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