On the 21st March the
joint representation of the trade unions of UAB „Švyturys-Utenos alus“
addressed the management of the enterprise with request to properly implement
the provisions of the collective labor agreement and to index the salaries of
the employees by 12.4 per cent. The article 3.3.4. of the collective labor
agreement regulations of work remuneration indicates: „During the process of
reconsideration of the salaries in the enterprise, the salaries are increased
in the amount which is not less than a middle annual rate of inflation“. The
position of the trade unions was based on the data, that during the period fom
2008 till 2010 the enterprise paid 200 million litas of dividends.
The management of the largest in the country brewery
refused to implement the request of the trade unions and the work of the
conciliation commission did not bring any positive outcomes.
The Labor Code of Lithuania entrenches a very
complicated and lengthy procedure of declaring a strike in the enterprise. One of the
requirements for the legal declaration of a strike is an approval of a decision
to declare strike adopted by the employees by secret ballot. On the 9-10th June
in the logistical and industrial departments of the enterprise a procedure of
employees’ voting by secret ballot to declare a strike was carried out. The
results of the voting by secret ballot showed that more than a half of the
employees of the industrial department of UAB „Švyturys-Utenos alus“ (58 per cent) approved the decision
to declare a strike. The strike was supposed to start on the 23rd
June 2011 at 6 a.m.
The management of the enterprise
sought to stop the strike and applied to the court with a petition to declare
the strike unlawful, the voting procedure for declaration of the strike invalid
and also asked for a compensation of litigation costs.
On the 20th June Klaipeda
city district court adopted a decision which was based on the provisions of 4th
paragraph of the article 81 of Lithuanian Labor Code and decided to postpone
the declared strike in UAB
„Švyturys- Utenos alus“ for 30 more days, although the strike was supposed to
start on the 23rd June.
The provisions of 4th
paragraph of the article 81 of Lithuanian Labor Code indicate that the strike
in the enterprise can be postponed “if there is a direct threat that the strike
will affect the provision of minimum conditions (services) necessary for
meeting the essential (vital) public needs and this may endanger human
life, health and safety, the court is entitled to postpone the intended
strike for a thirty day period or to suspend the ongoing strike for the
Labor Code also stipulates the list of the enterprises of this kind (2nd
paragraph of the article 80 of Labor Code): “ railway and public transport,
civil aviation enterprises, medical institutions, water, electricity, heat and
gas supply, sewage and waste collection enterprises”. Meanwhile a strike is
being declared, precisely in these
companies, institutions and enterprises “the provision of minimum conditions
(services) necessary for meeting the essential (vital) public needs” must
be ensured. In this case, the court applying the above mentioned provisions of
Labor Code made a conclusion that a brewery is among those enterprises which provide
services necessary for meeting the essential (vital) public needs.
23rd June in Vilnius and Klaipėda there were protest actions held to express dissatisfaction with the
court decission to pospone the strike in UAB „Švyturio-Utenos alus“ for 30 more
days. The representatives of the trade unions and the management of the
enterprise tried to settle the conflict but unfortunately the negotiations were
not successful. The trade unions agreed to modify the request of indexing the salaries by 12.4 per cent and agreed to
index the salaries only by 7 per cent. But the management of the enterprise was
reluctant to accept this offer, neither made any other kind of offers
favourable to the employees.
5th July Klaipeda city district court rejected the petition of the management
of UAB "Švyturys-Utenos alus" which was aimed at declaring the strike of 23rd
June unlawful. The court decided that employer failed to comply with the
collective agreement and the trade unions in order to protect rights of their
members had a legal right and a legal obligation to protect the interests of
the employees by the way provided by laws.
consider this a significant victory of the trade unions in the field of
as the joint representation of the trade unions of UAB „Švyturys–Utenos alus“
and the management of the
cmpany failed to reach a common agreement on the increase of the salaries, the
joint representation of the trade unions of UAB „Švyturys–Utenos alus“
declare a strike at the industrial
department of the enterprise which is supposed to start on the 25th July 2011
at 8 a.m.
A strike is led by two trade unions:
“Utenos alus” workers’ union, a president of
the trade union – Vilhelmas Čekuolis.
UAB "Švyturys-Utenos alus" trade union, a president of the trade
union – Raimondas Tamošauskas