News / 11.04.19

"Fact of theft established based on testimonies": new facts in the case of "Snov" driver

Almost a year later, the Nesvizh District Court has held a repeated consideration of the case of the theft of five litres of fuel. Judge Dmitry Gvozd has acknowledged the fact of fuel theft by Vyacheslav Syritsa, a driver of the "Snov" Agricultural Complex. The judgement was based on testimonies of several workers of the complex.

According to Alexander Voiteshik, an activist of the REP Trade Union, the formal reason of the repeated consideration was the non-payment of the party that had lost the case (the "Snov" Agricultural Complex) of the judicial costs (state duty).

"The facts of the case should be established in the legal manner – through an administrative or criminal procedure, that is, by the police or the court. It turns out that a new practice is now being formed, when the fact of theft can be proved not by the body that should establish it, but by an act signed by three workers, in this case, by three workers of the 'Snov' Agricultural Complex. This is a direct violation of the law."

"The fact that the case was reconsidered by the court looks like the unwillingness of the bosses to admit the worker's rights by them, and an attempt by all means to punish Vyacheslav Syritsa, who is one of the best workers. In spite of the law, the complex administration has decided to show other workers, who the boss is. This won't raise the authority of Nikolai Radaman, a Senator (Member) of the Council of the Republic (the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly (Parliament) of the Republic of Belarus), in the eyes of the workers. We intend to appeal against the decision of the Nesvizh District Court at higher judicial instances," Alexander Voiteshik has concluded.

Vyacheslav Syritsa has worked at the "Snov" Agrarian Combine in various positions from the foundation of the farm and was considered to be one of the best workers there; he received many awards; he was elected a member of the board and was awarded the title of "Honorary Worker".

In April 2018, at a sitting of the board Vyacheslav Syritsa was told that he had been exposed to a disciplinary and material punishment, deprived of material assistance and the title of "Honorary Worker", and removed from the board. As it turned out later, the reason was in his excessive spending of five litres of fuel during one of the working travels of the forwarding driver.

With the help of human rights defenders and activists of the REP Trade Union, Vyacheslav managed, through the court, to defend his title of "Honorary Worker" and return the bonuses and material assistance.

Gennady Fedynich, the leader of the REP Trade Union, has commented on this case for the

"In my opinion, the point is not in five litres of fuel, but in the fact that by their biased attitude towards the worker, bosses want to silence all other workers at the farm, and act to their whims, not the law. If a public person and a member of the Council of the Republic can admit this, what can we say about small 'ordinary' bosses? Recently, our union has received many appeals from farms and agro-industrial complexes from various regions of Belarus. Workers tell about a total violation of their rights – they must unquestioningly obey their bosses, regardless of the legality of latter's demands. Besides, wages in such farms are often miserable and below even the floor level approved by the state."

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