Right to Strike Breakthrough for Ukrainian Transport workers at the European Court

In a major decision the European Court of Human Rights has ordered the Ukrainian Government pay 20 thousand Euros to former employees of AeroSvit.  The Confederation of Free Trade Unions ( KVPU ) is considering the decision a major breakthrough for all transport workers in Ukraine.

TransportIn September 2011 the crew of “Aerosvit” took strike action in a dispute with the company management.   The strike committee gave advance warning – but the airline went to court and obtained an order which banned workers strike, citing that it is contrary to the law of Ukraine.   This decision was confirmed based on the law in Ukraine regarding transport,  which prohibits strikes against transport companies if they impede the transport of passengers,  in addition to the controversial Labour Code, which also includes a ban on such actions if they harm the health or threaten life.

The European Court of Human Rights  has found the actions of the owners of “Aerosvit” in violation of Article 11 (freedom of assembly) of the European Convention on Human Rights and ordered the payment of 20 thousand Euros to union members Benjamin Tymoshenko, Andrei Borodin, Olga Ivanova, Oleg Tolstoy and Taras Pushnyakui

The European Court of Justice stated that the Ukrainian legislation regulating the right to strike requires urgent changes.   This is an important decision and means that all other Ukrainian workers in transport can also use this in their own struggles with the employers.