GPO protracts answering "Vitebskmyasomolprom" storekeeper
For the fourth month already, the women-warehouse workers of the Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) "Vitebskmyasomolprom" (Meat and Dairy Products), members of the REP Trade Union, have been waiting for an answer from the General Prosecutor's Office (GPO) of Belarus regarding their complaint against the court's decision on the labour dispute on compensation of a huge shortage. Such a delay with response, in the opinion of Valery Misnikov, the trade union lawyer at the REP, suggests that the GPO is not willing to take responsibility for admission the employer's guilt and misconduct of the judiciary.
The dispute between the storekeepers and the bosses of the "Vitebskmyasomolprom" lasts for almost two years. The employer had "hung" the huge shortage on the workers. Each of them was obliged to reimburse from 3 to 10 million Belarusian roubles.
The women-workers have gone through all judicial instances, up to the Supreme Court. However, as reported by the lawyer Valery Misnikov, despite a number of compelling facts, allowing the court to drop all the charges against the workers, the judicial bodies stick to the party of the employer. For eight times the women turned to the OBEP (Division to Combat Organized Crime) asking to institute a criminal investigation into the huge shortage, and each time they were refused, since the police found it impossible to find the culprits.
Currently, the workers are waiting for a response from the GPO, where a supervisory complaint was lodged on their behalf. However, the officials are not in a hurry with the response.
"We lodged the complaint willing to draw the attention of senior law enforcement bodies of the country to the fact of open violation by the courts of the substantive and procedural law," said Valery Misnikov. "However, so far there are no experts to respond and be able to help the union members in exercising their right to appeal to state law enforcement agencies and receive a response on the merits. Nobody wants to take responsibility and admit the guilt of the employer and violations of the law by the judicial instances, which had taken the side of the employer.