By Oksana Abboud, StreetNet Organiser
On November 30, 2014 in the city of Kharkiv (Eastern Ukraine) Valentina Korobka, the Chairwoman of the Free Trade Union of Entrepreneurs of Ukraine (VPPU), was attacked late at night by an unknown man, who struck her several times in the face.
It happened on the fourth day of Valentina`s business trip during where she chaired a delegation of representatives of the Free Trade Union of Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs from the market "Barabashovo" invited Valentina to Kharkov as they already spent several days picketing. After her arrival to the huge market "Barabashovo" a new trade union center was created immediately.
A few days ago market vendors of the "Barabashovo" market went on strike to protest against the arbitrary decisions of the local administration. One of their demands was - to cancel the illegal rent increases by 35%.
In addition, they demanded: to agree on a common working hours schedule from 6.00 am to 18.00 pm; to abolish fees for "working at night" and for placement of dummies, which are charged without any receipts and bases; as well as for electricity, which is payable without proof of payment and for the "committee service" - intermediaries between market vendors and the administration which demands money with threats.
Activists of the newly established trade union headed by Valentina Korobka immediately went to negotiate with the authority and administration of the market. After successful union negotiations with the administration and owners on the terms of the lease trading places, someone from the stakeholders, who is obviously not ready to talk openly about his interests, was dissatisfied with the activities of the trade union delegation at the market.
Thus in the evening of November 30, close to the hotel, where representatives of the VFTUEU were staying for night, an unknown young man struck Valentina three times in the face, stating that she had to go to Kiev.
The Union leader, Valentina, addressed the law enforcement agencies of the Kiev District Department of Research Affairs in Kharkiv regarding the assault. "There is little hope that the Kharkiv police will find and punish the perpetrators, especially if we talk about the person who was responsible for ordering this attack." she said.
StreetNet International expresses its concern and regret over the attack on the FTUEU leader Valentina Korobka. " Despite the endless threats and sacrifices she has made in the name of justice, including her safety and her health, she continues to fight for justice and protection of the rights of entrepreneurs in Ukraine. We wish her a speedy recovery," said Oksana Abboud, StreetNet Organiser
There is also a portuguese version of the Blog where one can access personal updates on news and events. It can be found on this link: http://streetnetbrasil.wordpress.com/
StreetNet Newsletter 32 [pdf]
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BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).
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INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.
ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).
SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.
MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).
INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.
StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.
Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.
The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies