Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yanuk's gov causing ructions already

Supreme Rada votes to increase public services tariffs

The Supreme Rada of Ukraine [VR] voted to annul the moratorium on price increases on gas and public services for its citizens. The motion was supported by 249 deputies, including 184 from PoR, 7 from BYuT, 3 from NU, 30 Socialists, and 21 Communists.

Apparently, when the VR introduced the moratorium it strayed beyond the framework of constitution.

Yulia Tymoshenko stated that the cancellation of the moratorium will lead to the crisis because of municipal non payments. Her companion-Oleksandr Turchinov said, "SPU and KPU have betrayed its voters".

Communist leader Petro Symonenko stated that neither the Yanukovich government, nor the VR were to blame for the increase in prices, but that it was all the fault of the previous Yekhanurov government. [Isn't it always?]

The Yanuk gov is 'endearing' itself to its electorate in other ways too.

I've translated this from

Coalmine directors being dismissed in Donetsk, sometimes with the aid of Spetznaz

A change of government in the country, and accession to power of new political forces has given rise to a 'clear-out' in the mines of Donbass. Mine bosses who showed loyalty to the orange authorities, are the first on the list of those deemed 'objectionable'.

MinUgleProm [Ministry of the Coal Industry] has justified the change of leaders by the need for a more qualitative and more professional approach to the work of enterprises.

Trade-union leaders of region reveal the political background of what is going on:
"Let's take, for example, the directors of mine 'Yuzhnodonbasskaya #1' Mikhail Bugar, and administrator of "Donbass" [mine] Yuriy Baranov. These enterprises are foremost in the region. However, they, as well as a number of other influential mining bosses, did not support PoR in the past parliamentary elections. Mikhail Ivanovich, as the deputy of Donetsk provincial council, even headed the NSNU fraction. This is just settling of scores by political opponents on the part of Regionaly, and by MinUgleProm head, Sergey Tulub and his party leadership. As a result , the entire branch will suffer, as will tens of thousands of miners and their families. The best personnel are being kicked out, just as in 1937, in Stalinist fashion - similar 'chystki'are well known in our history. Some of the mine bosses are being removed in order to clear places for the numerous relatives of persons in PoR, " said the leader of the Independent trade union of Donbass miners Nikolai Volynko.

Actually, it looks as if an intensive preparation for the privatization of enterprises by concrete financial- industrial groups is taking place. First it is necessary to drive them into bankruptcy in order to reduce costs. However, the present management is actively preventing this.

In Donetsk there is talk that the above-mentioned Yuri Baranov and Tulub have personal scores to settle. Miners consider that Tulub is taking revenge on Baranov for sacking his nephew from the post of the deputy chief of the mine.

The methods used by the ministry to find reasons for displacing the directors, are hardly original. First the mine administration of "Donbass" unexpectedly received an unexpected 'visit' from all possible controlling bodies. Several days of inspections were conducted by numerous commissions from the Attorney General's Office, but these were to no avail. Then, in order to cause the dissatisfaction of workers with the management of the enterprises, MinUgleProm refused to return 35 million hryven to the mine administration - this was technical credit for the renewal of coal extraction work on "Kommunar" #22.

In the "SverdlovAntratsit" works the matter reached complete absurdity. To dismiss its director, Yevgeny Gorovog from his job, ministerial officials with SpetzNaz [Special Force] troops entered into his office, read out an injunction, and evicted him through the door.

Such methods cause serious dissatisfaction amongs the workers. In some enterprises the situation is on the verge of mutiny.

Even the local trade unions, who were never especially loyal to the mine authorities, have sprung to the defense of the mine bosses.

Valery Bogatishchev, the chairman of the independent trade union of the miners at the "Donbass" enterprise, said their six-thousand plus worker collective feels a direct threat to their future, with the change of its leadership. "People are not against conducting cadre policy in the branch, but, it must be carried out reasonably, in the interests of the state and working collectives. In this case, this is completely be absent. Baranov is unique in his field. While [mining] in the last 20 years has gone down, he put it together grain by grain," explained Bogatishchev.

…As early as 1981 Yuri Baranov insisted that his foremost mine named after the newspaper "Socialist Donbass," joined up with the "Zapereval'" mine, which was lagging behind according to all indices. For this he was nearly deprived of party membership card. Three years another 'outsider' [failing] mine, "Glybokaya" was also added to the group. In 2001 he insisted that the "Pochenkova", now "Shcheglovskaya-Glybokaya" which was due for liquidation, be added to his mining group too. Today this leading coal-mining enterprise, produces over 3000 tons of coal every day. According to all calculations, by 2009 the mines will be producing over million tons of coal p.a.
To call Baranov a poor manager is difficult, and titles such as 'Hero of Socialist Labor' and 'Hero of Ukraine' are not lightly given out.

Baranov has been asked to write his own [resignation] statement. Even if he does this, his workers may not allow him to go.

There is a similar situation in the Donetsk satellite town of Ugledar which is a one-company town dominated by the "Bugary" enterprise. The entire town is ready to defend its boss.

But most of all today, what most angers miners, is the complete lack any systematic approach by MinUgleProm in the reorganization of mining. The independent trade union of the Donbass miners has already handed an open letter to Yushchenko. The letter states: "That which is taking place in MinUgleProm, cannot be called anything but a sequential attempt to destroy the mining industry in Ukraine. And, if we undertake no measures this time, the process of destruction will be final and irrevocable. Ukraine can maintain its status as an energetically independent power, only by preserving a nationalized coal industry. "

What have the Communists to say about all of this?

As for the President, he says, "I do not consider the discussion process [on coalition-forming] to be exhausted. I direct each political force to think over yet again its position and conclude the round table with the signing of a suitable agreement." Is he on the same wavelength as NSNU? Or PoR?

NSNU are probably reluctant to join a coalition with PoR, when PoR are letting down their electorate so soon after the elections.

PS more on possible strikes in Donbass from 'Donbass' newspaper here.

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