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Bosses Must Not Escape As Migrant Worker Left For Dead - IRSP

category derry | worker & community struggles and protests | press release author Wednesday January 12, 2005 23:10author by Derry IRSP - Irish Republican Socialist Partyauthor email derryirsp at hotmail dot comauthor address P.O.Box 1981, Derry, BT48 8GX Report this post to the editors

The Irish Republican Socialist Party representative John Hogan hit out at
the way in which a young Ukranian woman living rough on the streets of
Coleraine in Co Derry had both her legs amputated after turkey factory
bosses sacked her.

Derry Irish Republican Socialist Party

Press Release

Bosses Must Not Escape As Migrant Worker Left For Dead - IRSP

11 January 2005

The Irish Republican Socialist Party representative John Hogan hit out at
the way in which a young Ukranian woman living rough on the streets of
Coleraine in Co Derry had both her legs amputated after turkey factory
bosses sacked her.

In a statement supplied to the IRSP newspaper, The Starry Plough, Mr Hogan
said "The news of this tragedy is one of utter horror and disbelief.
Unfortunately it is now common knowledge that many migrant workers are use
and abused by bosses behind closed doors, of what can only be described as
shabby sweat-shops right across the counrty. The young woman in this case,
a 27 years old Ukranian worker with very little english was said to have
been laid off by bosses at a local turkey factory following the christmas
rush. After living rough in sub-zero temperatures on the streets of
Coleraine she was met by fellow migrant workers who were so shocked at her
overall state of health that they took her to hospital. Sadly the womans
turma didn't end there as she had both legs amputated after being found
suffering from extreme hypothermia and frost-bite.

"This incident itself was just a tragedy left waiting to happen as migrant
and temporary employed workers are seen in many ways as disposable by
employers. A terrible plight for hundreds of workers that the trade union
movement continues to ignore. However the way in which this story unfolded
clearly shows that bosses must not escape untarnished here, both wages and
conditions must be put under the spotlight. In saying that I would like
to state that the increasing number temporary employment agencies clearly
need to be exposed for what they really are, modern day slave drivers and
slave traders whose only interest is in the pursuit of profit. It is a
concern of every member of our class both employed and unemployed that all
the issues involved in this case urgently needs to be tackled once and for
all.

Mr. Hogan concluded "The thoughts of our party and I'm sure the thoughts
of many hundreds of workers held in similar circumstances goes to the
young woman involved who is currently recovering in hospital. I would like
to offer our support and solidarity in the hope of a speedy recovery and
to her friends working in the six counties."

Ends

Related Link: http://www.irsm.org
author by Bright Eyespublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 00:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"44-year-old Teresa Kwiatkowski died from multiple injuries after she was hit by an excavator at a recycling depot in St Margaret's in May 2000."

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0112/kwiatkowskit.html
author by Barrypublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 00:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For a young woman in her 20s, who came here seeking employment to suffer such a tragic fate is absolutely shameful and disgraceful in this day and age. This makes me extremely angry even thinking about it. The bosses who left her in such a predicament should be horsewhipped and hung for the greedy capitalist bastards they are.

author by pcpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 14:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

her former employer an agency claimed today that the offered her flight back to Ukraine and rang her mother when she left the job... but she refused to go home....still... sad.

author by MGpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 15:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But how could she 'go home'? She had not been here long and to go back after losing her job would brand her a failure. Don't know what the family circumstances are but quite likely there were others depending on the money she would send home. It is quite like the situation of Irish emigrants refusing to return home, feeling shame if it were to become known they are in poor circumstances abroad, Christy Moore had a song about it called 'Red Biddy' I think.

The truth is that she worked as cheap labour in a seasonal industry and was sacked when it suited the employer.

author by Michael Gallagher - R.A.R.publication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Can we get some clarification on this story? According to a comment from her former boss in todays Irish Independant, the worker who had her legs amputated had left her job of her own free will months ago and turned down offers by him, the plane fare back to the Ukraine. This is alleged to have been done with the co-operation of the employment agency that recruited the young woman

author by Sinn Féinpublication date Thu Jan 13, 2005 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

12 January, 2005
http://www.sinnfein.ie/news/detail/8063

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has called for a wide-ranging investigation of the circumstances surrounding the case of a Ukrainian migrant worker who had both legs amputated after being forced to sleep on the streets.

author by Derry IRSP - Irish Republican Socialist Partypublication date Sat Jan 15, 2005 17:40author email derryirsp at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Comrade/s,

When the statement above was released the information surrounding the incident stands as it is, correct. Since then we now know that the woman involved, Oksana Sukhanova is actually 23 years old and not 27 as stated above.

We have also been informed through the usual media outlets that the firm involved allegedly had ended Oksana's employment contract "..by mutual agreement" as she was "...not suited to her job". We are also aware that Oksana has been questioned regarding her actual whereabouts following the termination of that employment contract. But as yet no 'safety net' by the 6 county state or its services has been put in place to ensure this type of crime doesn't happen again.

Furthermore can I add to this discussion by informing those who may be interested that the news of this tragedy came a week in which employers at a North Dublin recycling plant were fined a total of E80,000 by the courts of the 26 counties over the death of a 44 year old Polish migrant worker, Teresa Kwiatkowski.

If you can remember, Teresa deid back in May 2002 from massive internal injuries after she was struck by the arm of an excavator whilst she was on top of a mound of rubbish salvaging waste wood. The driver of the excavator stopped only when he heard the screams of Teresa's partner as he ran to pick her up. The reps' from the Health & Safety Exexcutive can call this a lack of 'duty of care' to non nationals, but we veiw it as it is, industrial terrorism!

Derry IRSP

Related Link: http://www.irsm.org
author by Irynapublication date Wed Jan 19, 2005 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am an Ukrainian living and working in London, and am disgusted by your distortion of the facts, in order to promote your silly socialist ideas (it is obvious you never lived under socialism!). Oksana indeed refused a flight back to Ukraine in September, well before "turkey season" commenced. She came to N.I. on a one-year cheap labour visa, which is considered to be a blessing for many Ukrainians, and just wanted to make most of her stay in the UK. When she lost her job (which is a normal thing in market economy conditions), she had to take care of herself. If she could not do that in the UK, she should have gone back to Ukraine. She took a risk, and paid a horrible price for it. But stop using this tragedy as means of masterminding yet another picture of "nasty employers" - it is cheap and disgusting.

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethics Pleasepublication date Fri Jan 21, 2005 21:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Island of Ireland

I understand that this unfortunate young Ukranian woman was working in Portadown and supposedly left employment prior to Christmas based on a 'Mutual Agreement'. My personal experience is that it is difficult to gain true mutuality where injustices prevail.

I had wondered why other members from the Ukraine were not there to notify the authorities but perhaps the most inhumane and merciless quote of the last person writing from London explains something.

Oksana is a human being, who came to work in Ireland and for whatever reasons has lost both her legs due to Frostbite. This is not the Artic and it ought not have happened.

Can anyone let me know what the present situation is? Has anyone undertaken a fund raising collection to ensure that Oksana is equipped to deal with this horrific change in circumstances. Have the employers anything to say or the agency in Dundalk who offered to fly her home.

This sounds like indentured contract - has anyone looked into this? The Irish need to recall that most likely we have all had ancestry who emigrated and who had to fight hard for Justice.

Christmas is about caring and sharing, let us not forget Oksana......

Person with Disabilities.......the opportions exist but a Mentor and fund is needed

Qutoation - I relied on this during my divorce:

Betrayal
'To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice'
Confucius (c.551-478) A CHINESE PHILOSOPHER.

author by PMcGpublication date Sun Mar 13, 2005 03:35author email mcgranaghan19772000 at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

To suggest that this young woman was somehow the agent of her own catastrophe is a serious insult to her. her employers were kicking her onto the street. She chose to stay on in the off-chance that something would turn up. It didn't. She has been mutilated for life as a consequence. How anyone with any heart can call her a fool, which is the sum of criticism of her, beggars belief. It is not a socialist plot to describe her employers as savages for throwing her to the elements. If they had any decency in them they would have helped. They knew what whould happen to her. They just didn't care. THAT is market-capitalism. Socialism has never happened in Ukraine, so don't confuse the totalitarian hell of that place with Socialism.

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