Kazakhstan: Oil workers fight ‘unfair dismissal’

Solidarity message from Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) MEP

During a recent visit to Kazakhstan, the Member of European Parliament (MEP) Joe Higgins (Socialist Party – CWI Ireland), met with oil workers who are fighting against unfair dismissal and who are also being sued by their bosses for taking strike action.

Joe sent the following solidarity message to the oil workers, as they go to court today to fight unfair dismissals.


Oil workers’ representatives meeting Joe Higgins

Solidarity message from Joe Higgins

Dear colleagues,

I was very pleased to meet you in Almaty. I was distressed to hear about how you have been treated by your employer, the SNPS “Aktobemunaigaz” Company.

In my opinion, it is not acceptable for a group of workers organized in a trade union which has attempted to organize a legal strike to then be victimized for participating in a strike. I therefore wish you my fullest support in your case against unfair dismissal, which I believe is to be heard on the 13th September.

I was even more distressed to hear that, after our meeting there was an attempted provocation against you when you returned to Aktyubinsk and that your employer is attempting to sue you for losses due to the strike.

I can assure you that I am following your case closely. If the employer continues in its harassment and you are not reinstated to work, I shall raise the issue further within the European Parliament and in my discussions with other organisations about workers’ rights and democracy in Kazakhstan. In my opinion, this case is just further proof that Kazakhstan should not have been granted the Chair of the OSCE.

I wish you success in your case.


Joe Higgins

Member of European Parliament.  

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September 2010