What does the labor code hide from us?
In the USSR, an employee could not be fired without the consent of the trade union. In capitalist countries and in the former Soviet republics, including Russia, this law was removed.
Believe it or not, this status remains in Latvia and acts!
According to the Labor Law of the Republic of Latvia (Art. 110 p. 1), a union member cannot be dismissed without the consent of the union if he has been a union member for more than six months.
“Article 110. Termination of an employment contract with a member of the trade union of workers
(1) An employer is prohibited from terminating an employment contract with an employee who is a member of a trade union without the prior consent of the relevant trade union if the employee has been a member of the trade union for more than six months, except for the cases provided for in Article 47, paragraph 1 and clauses 4, 8 and 10 of the first part of Article 101 of this Law. If the employment contract is intended to be terminated in the case referred to in Article 101, paragraph 1, clauses 7 and 11 of this Law, the employer shall inform the trade union in advance and consult with it”.1
The pocket union, which is actually managed by the administration, like Latvian Railway and Transport Union, will agree to the dismissal. Such a union is called yellow. Therefore, the trade union you join must be a real, fighting, workers’ union!
So, in order for the administration or the owner could not fire you at their own whim and arbitrariness, as often happens, so that you feel confident and can put forward fair demands: about a 6-hour working day with salary, about increasing wages to its cost, you must:
- Join a fighting union. If there is no such trade union, create one. This is not as difficult as it might seem.
- If you can’t create a union, join the yellow union and try to influence it in order to change its leadership. A trade union is an organization of workers, not an administration; workers always have full power in a trade union.
- To attract colleagues to your side, the best way is to write a draft of a collective labor agreement, including relevant clauses at your enterprise, to make a brief summary of it and distribute it among colleagues.
Apply for help and with any questions to the Workers’ Front of Latvia. E-mail: [email protected]