Employees at “Achema” are preparing for a strike

A strike at the strategic enterprise Achema will start on February 8th – that was a unanimous decision of the Achema Workers’ Trade Union Council.

So far, for several years the union has been trying to engage in a constructive dialogue with the company’s management and has taken all possible measures to reach a peaceful settlement. Unfortunately, the employer has only imitated the dialogue. Currently, there is no collective bargaining, and the State Labor Inspectorate is investigating possible violations of the workers’ rest and working time arrangements.

Additional tension is also caused by the employer’s unilaterally adopted remuneration system. Workers have not yet been introduced to it, although the system entered into force on January 1st. Employees are afraid that they will suffer because of this new remuneration system and will receive lower pay than before.

“It is very unfortunate that the agreement with employees is not a value for the “Achema” management. Therefore, employees are now resorting to this extreme measure – strike. I hope that the employer, instead of focusing attention and energy to interfere with the strike, will first of all act honourably and will invite the trade union to negotiate a collective agreement,” says Dalia Jakutavičė, President of the Lithuanian Industry Trade Union Federation.

The trade union imposes the following requirements for the employer:

  • to sign a collective agreement for two years period,
  • to review the tariff wage at least once in a calendar year,
  • to establish a procedure for one-time incentives of employees for the achieved annual work results,
  • to legalize overtime when working beyond the permitted annual duration,
  • to coordinate annual work schedules with the trade union.

The trade union informs, that from February 8th, only minimum services in “Achema” will be provided.

It should be noted that the strike was supported by 80% of union members, which accounts for 30% of the company’s total workforce. It turned out after a secret ballot by union members in December last year. Many other employees of AB Achema also support the requirements set by the trade union. This allows the union to say that the problems are outdated and hinder productive work in the company.

The trade union actions and requirements are supported not only by Lithuanian trade unions but also by trade unions and international organizations in other countries. Support has been expressed not only by national trade unions, branch organizations or the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation but also by influential international trade union federations such as IndustriAll Europe or the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU).

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