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Taisa Spas and Tamara Voyna smile in front of the banner of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU). The CVU, a Rule of Law Initiative advocacy partner, helped the two workers in their efforts to recover months of unpaid wages.
A Rule of Law Initiative advocacy partner and two Ukrainian workers seeking months of unpaid salary from a former employer celebrated a long-awaited court victory this past December at the European Court of Human Rights.
When Dnipro, a Ukrainian superconductor manufacturer went bankrupt in 1996 and left employees without months of back pay, Taisa Spas and Tamara Voyna, former factory workers, sought legal recourse. Their case worked its way through the Ukrainian justice system, but in spite of numerous rulings in their favor, Spas and Voyna never saw a penny of their pay because of a failure to enforce court orders.
As a last hope, Nataliya Bohrentsova of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a Rule of Law Initiative advocacy partner, assisted Spas and Voyna in filing a complaint under Article 6.1 of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. After several years of correspondence and document collection, on December 7, 2006, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of the two women. The court's ruling gives Ukraine three months to pay both Spas and Voyna $1,800 in unpaid salary, as well as an additional $2,600 in non-pecuniary damages.