Workers of “TRECOL”: solidarity led to victory in court
The workers of the TRECOL enterprise near Moscow, organized into a trade union, obtained through the court the restoration of their rights. The trial, held on February 21, canceled the reprimands for the workers and ordered the owners to pay them compensation for moral damage. The Victory became possible due to the fact that the workers were not afraid of the arrogant actions of the capitalists, did not run away, but decided to fight together for their rights. Solidarity tripled their strength.
The labor conflict at TRECOL has been going on since last fall. The cause was gross safety violations by the employer, which entailed significant damage to the workers’ health. The management of the enterprise was asked several times to transfer harmful work activities to different workshops, but these completely logical proposals were ignored. Having exhausted the possibilities for an informal dialogue, the workers created a team that joined the inter-regional trade union Workers Association (MPRA) and even held a rally at the factory entrance. The employer immediately responded with repressions; union members started getting unreasonable reprimands. The capitalists’ plan was simple – to make up a formal conflict situation and fire the workers “legally”.
In December, the employer fulfilled this intention. The workers were fired on the basis of layoffs, while the management, did not seek the union opinion on such a decision, which is against the law. Apparently, the owners were confident that the workers would give up and scatter to look for new jobs. Indeed, such behavior is, unfortunately, still typical of Russian workers. However, something went wrong. The workers sued the employer on two points: the illegal layoffs and the unreasonable reprimands. In January, preliminary hearings were held in the Lyubertsy City Court, that the enterprise lawyers simply did not attend. In February, the case was examined on the merits; the lawyer of the management was very “hazy” during the testimony. On February 21, the final meeting was held on the issue of the reprimands, which put an end to the claims of the capitalists. The court meeting on the layoffs will be held on February 25.
From the very beginning ROT FRONT has provided informational, methodological and legal support to the struggling workers. One of the party activists witnessed in court.
The court decision has nothing to do with any humanitarian intentions or loyalty of the court towards the workers. The thing is that the employers themselves are too accustomed to the silent submission of the workers. They did not count on the real lawsuit, did not prepare for it and did not “bother” with the law compliance too much. As a result, when the workers brought the matter to court, all the “fake” arguments of the enterprise managers crumbled like a house of cards.
The victory of the TRECOL workers shows that united and organized actions can put in place a presumptuous capitalist.