Kazakhstan: Justice for Oil Workers!
In partnership with the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, the Confederation of Labour of Russia, and supported by the International Trade Union Confederation
Over a period of several months, court trials related to the tragic events in Zhanaozen of 16 December 2011 have taken place. Many months of dispute between oil workers and the management of oil companies, with the connivance of the authorities, resulted in disorders, violence and the uncontrolled use of force by police, which caused the death of 17 and injuries to dozens of people. Not only oil workers were killed and injured, but also citizens of Kazakhstan who had no involvement with the labour conflict.
Dozens of people, whose involvement is contestable, were subsequently charged. Many of them were sentenced to different terms in prison. During the process, international observers, representatives of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and OSCE, human rights defenders and journalists recorded numerous violations in the trial processes. Almost all defendants and some of witnesses stated that they were tortured in the course of the investigation, but the trials were not suspended. The trials were conducted in an environment of extreme tensions and close to a state of emergency measures in the region.
The international trade union movement demands that the sentences be reconsidered, that all cases of torture and provocation be thoroughly investigated, and that national legislation that envisages criminal responsibility for “calling for social strife” and that is used selectively to put pressure on trade unionists, human rights activists and public figures, be changed.
Go here to sign a petition to the Kazakhstan authorities.
Kazakhstan: Support striking oil workers!
Since May 2011 two towns in Western Kazakhstan have been seeing protest actions in the oil sector that still involve thousands of workers. Massive lay-offs have hit over a thousand workers, affecting their families, their children. Some of the protest action participants suffered detention, disciplinary punishments, and criminal prosecution, including Natalya Sokolova, a union legal officer, who was sentenced to 6 years in prison for so-called “incitement to social animosity”. This sentence creates a dangerous precedent for the whole trade union movement in the country and has been widely denounced by trade union and human rights organisations from all over the world.
The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, supported by international trade union organisations, is campaigning for the resolution of the conflict.
You can help! Go here to send a message to Kazakh President Nazarbayev.
Stop Nespressure in Russia! Rights and Recognition for Nestlé Waters Workers and their Union!
In November 2009, workers at Nestlé Waters Direct in Domodedovo, near Moscow, joined together to do something about eroding real wages and deteriorating working conditions. They formed a legal union — and management responding by harassment, discriminatory work assignments, cutting drivers’ wages by half and sacking the union vice-chair, who was formally accused of damaging the company by doing his job too well! The workers are determined to defend their union and win their rights — you can support them by using this form to send a message to management of Nestlé, the world’s largest food company.
To learn more about Nestlé’s violations of worker rights, see the IUF’s Nespressure website.
We gratefully acknowledge receipt of news of this campaign from LabourStart.