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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 01/27/2012 - 16:14

Unfair penalties of 4 Heineken-St-Petersburg strikers reversed after independent investigation

Joint commission consisted of city brunch of Agro-Industrial Workers’ Union (AIWU), St-Petersburg Regional Unions’ Federation, State Labour Inspection and district prosecutor’s office claim that prosecution of Heineken workers who went on a one-day warning strike on 15 December 2011 was illegal. While an act was issued to reverse penalties imposed on 4 strikers, other 25 cases are still to be examined.

Joint commission consisted of city brunch of Agro-Industrial Workers’ Union (AIWU), St-Petersburg Regional Unions’ Federation, State Labour Inspection and district prosecutor’s office claim that prosecution of Heineken workers who went on a one-day warning strike on 15 December 2011 was illegal. While an act was issued to reverse penalties imposed on 4 strikers, other 25 cases are still to be examined.

Workers went on strike desperate to bring brewery management to bargaining table over the issues of extent usage of agency labour on the site and manipulation with the work time calculation which leads to almost no overtime being paid. In spite of all efforts made by IUF affiliated AIWU and “Solidarnost” unions for over three years, Heineken refused to recognize the issue as an industrial dispute. Outraged by the management's extra pressure on workers after the strike, leaders of the two local unions went on hunger strike on 12 January 2012. They received solidarity support from St-Petersburg regional unions and social movements as well as IUF affiliates in the EECA.

On the 16th of January employer agreed to enter talks which resulted in creation of the joint independent commission to investigate the legitimacy of management’s action after the strike. As a sign of good will the hunger strike was suspended.

Unions welcomed the results of the investigation which proved that the strike was legal and workers should'nt be punished for strike participation. The AIWU, “Solidarnost” and the IUF are expecting all penalties to be reversed and meaningful negotiations with the unions on issues of agency labour and overtime to start.