16 January 2018, Tuesday, 20:26

Trade union leader at Mozyr oil refinery stops hunger strike

Yury Shvets suspended his hunger strike after five days.

The activist planned to protest during three days, but the plant management and Belneftekhim company didn't reacted, so he prolonged his hunger strike until October 19. His colleague Vasily Alkhouski joined the hunger strike for three days, but had to stop it on October 16 for health reasons, BelaPAN reports.

Yury Shvets went on hunger strike on October 14 protesting against pressure from the plant administration on activists of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU). The reason for the protest was firing five BITU members. He said the recent dismissals and persecution of trade union activists by the management made him resort to that measure.

“The leaders of the independent trade union will possibly have talks with Belneftekhim next week. I will decide after the talks if I should continue the hunger strike. The sacked activists applied to a court trying to restore their rights, but I am skeptical about the local courts that have close ties with the plant management,” Yury Shvets says.

Asked about his health after five days of hunger strike, he said: “I can tolerate it.”

Aliaksandr Yarashuk, the head of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions that includes BITU, is going to seek for a meeting with representatives of Belneftekhim state company to discuss the situation at the Mozyr oil refinery.