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Union activist dismissed illegally in Russia

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25 October, 2012Dmitry Khokhlov, an assembly line operator at Benteler, VW supplier in Kaluga, Russia, was dismissed illegally. Khokhlov is a deputy president of the ITUA local at the plant.

On 19 October Dmitry Khokhlov, deputy president of the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) local at Benteler Automotive in Kaluga, Russia, was dismissed.

After a successful strike for the recognition of the union in March 2012 ITUA signed a collective agreement with the management, one of the best in the Kaluga industrial cluster. However, apparently the administration didn’t completely withdraw from anti-union tactics.

Khokhlov was dismissed under the article of the Labour Code describing financial malpractice, despite the obvious fact that assembly line operators have nothing to do with company finances.

ITUA notes that two cases of disciplinary action against Benteler workers have already been overturned by court decision. Therefore, there is a consistent pattern of workers’ rights violations at Benteler, and this anti-union policy was maintained even after the massive strike and signing of the collective agreement.

In a letter to Elena Sirotkina, HR director at Benteler, Vadim Borisov, IndustriALL Global Union regional secretary for CIS countries called her to reinstate Dmitry Khokhlov and not to wait for another court decision. Borisov noted that he will notify the European Works Council of Benteler Automotive about Sirotkina’s actions.