The Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv oblast has launched a criminal case on the grounds of the overdue wages to the employees of the Aerosvit airline company and gross violation of labor legislation. The prosecutor’s office said that in the end of December 2012 to fulfill the resolution of the Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv oblast, the airline company paid the employees almost 19 million hryvnias of overdue wages for November. The employees of the company who came to the building of the Presidential Administration on January 22 to take part in trade union protest rally, said they had not been paid wages for two months.
“We have not been paid wages for two months, although we keep on working. I have been working for 17 years in the company. I want to say that nothing of this kind has ever happened. Even in the time of crises of 1998 and 2008 we kept afloat. Several times the wages were paid later, but the delay was not long,” says Andrii Kravchuk, an aircraft mechanic at Aerosvit. In his words, the company has always worked stably, until in “2009 the controlling block of shares went to Kolomoisky.” “The company failed to pay the airports for service in due time and started to withhold the wages. Despite the full flights, the company’s income started to drop and it ran into debt. It was clear for everyone that we were artificially being driven to bancruptcy. Now the MAU is in danger, for last year Kolomoisky got the controlling block of shares via a number of shell companies,” the aircraft mechanic is sure.
Kravchuk says it has been announced that the technical service staff would be reduced from 400 to 36 persons. On the whole the company’s staff will be reduced by eight times: out of 2,500 employees only 300 persons will keep their job. “Only three aircraft out of 32 will be flying: Boeing-767, which makes long-haul flights from Kyiv to Beijing, New York, and Bangkok, as well as two Embraer planes which make short-haul flights across Ukraine. Other planes have either been already given to the MAU, or they stand on airfields and in hangars without repair. Money has not been given even for the parts of the machines,” the employee of the company underlined. Head of the Aerosvit Air Steward Trade Union Veniamin Tymoshenko says the same. “Recently Aerosvit was fulfilling 30-40 flights a day, and now this figure dropped to one or two. Everyone is staying at home. Some employees have tried to find a job at the International Airlines of Ukraine. But we are not welcome there, moreover, they treat us with disrespect.”
Stewardess Natalia Ratsa, who is on maternity leave now, has also mentioned about the problems with employment. “If Aerosvit is finally shut down, I won’t be able to work according to my specialty, because there will practically be only one airline company, the MAU. They have a tough competition. For example, I am too old for them: they accept to work people under 27. And the average age in our company is 30-35,” Ratsa specified.
The participants of the rally gave their demands to a representative of the Presidential Administration and warned: if the question is not resolved in their favor in the near future, the pilots and air stewards will bring their families to the walls of the Presidenial Administration. “We have brought 300 persons today, tomorrow there will be 5,000,” Tymoshenko promised.