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BRAMA, May 22, 2000, 10:00pm EST
Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation

Myroslaw Smorodsky, P.A.
Petro R. Stawnychy, P.A.

Smorodsky & Stawnychy
A Partnership of Professional Corporations
counsellors at law
75 Union Ave., 1705
Rutherford, New Jersey 07070-1705
(201) 939-1999
fax: (201) 507-3970 
Internet E-Mail
WWW Site

Austrian Forced Labor
Negotiations Progress Quickly

Vienna, Austria (May 17, 2000) - The representatives of five Central and East European countries – Belarus, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Ukraine [CEE] - successfully concluded their first plenary negotiation session with the Austrian government on the issue of compensation of forced laborers who were deported to Austria during World War II. Unlike the German negotiations, which had been protracted for over one year, the Austrian discussions were initiated in April on a bilateral basis with each country individually and will, in all probability, be concluded by July with payments to begin before year's end. Austria has announced that they will not only pay former slave and forced laborers in industry, but it will also voluntarily pay farm workers. This is unlike Germany, which leaves compensation of farmers to the discretion of each participating country foundation. In addition, women who gave birth while in forced labor will also be compensated as well as children up to the age twelve who accompanied their deported parents into Austria. The payment amounts are as follows: (valued based upon a 15/1 exchange ratio of the Austrian Shilling to the US dollar)

  In Austrian Shillings In German Marks In US Dollars
Slave laborers 105,000  15,000 7,000
Forced Industrial Laborers 35,000 5,000 2,333
Forced Agricultural Laborers 20,000 2,857 1,333
Women who gave birth to children  5,000 715 333

Children under age 12 can claim the same amount that parents were eligible for.

It is estimated that approximately 220,000 forced laborers who were deported into Austria of are still alive and approximately 43,000 of the victims reside in Ukraine.

The Austrians will be able to achieve such swift results only if they are able to separate the issue of compensation of slave and forced laborers from the property and insurance claims of the other victim claimants. The inclusion of all the various claims into one global settlement was the key factor that caused the extensive time delays in the German settlement discussions. After the forced labor settlement is concluded, the Austrians will then attempt to resolve the property and insurance claims of other victims.

The Reconciliation Foundations that presently exist in each country will make the distribution of compensation to residents within the five CEE countries. Victims who reside outside of these countries will be paid through an Austrian Foundation. The Austrian government will announce global notice of the settlement, eligibility criteria, and the registration process after the negotiations have been concluded.

Myroslaw Smorodsky Esq. Is Legal Counsel to the Ukrainian Delegation participating in the Austrian negotiations and the attorney representing the Ukrainian class in the pending class action litigations.

Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor
Class Action Litigation
Present status of the German settlement
· German Settlement Documents
· International Organization for Migration (IOM) Forced Labor Website IOM Holocaust Victim Assets Programme (Swiss Banks) and German Forced Labour Compensation Programme

· Austrian Settlement Documents
· Austrian Application Notice

· Forced/Slave Labor Homepage
· Brama's UkraiNewstand
· News and Related Forced Labor & Holocaust Assets sites
Press Releases
· Sep 27 02 - US Court Increases Payments Under Swiss Banks Settlement; IOM will increase by 45% the amounts distributed to members of Slave Labour Class I and the Refugee Class [IOM]
· Sep 23 02 - IOM Pays Slave Labourers Under Swiss Banks Settlement: 436 members of certain persecuted groups have received full payment for their claims [IOM]
· Jul 26 02 - Extended Hotline Hours Improve IOM Service for German Forced Labor Claimants [IOM]
· Jun 15 02 - 17,000 slave and forced laborers worldwide have received first payments through IOM [IOM]
· Feb 7 02 - Many Claimants Lack Sufficient Documentation [IOM]
· Feb 1 02 - UECC (Philadelphia) is processing applications for Austrian Compensation
· Jan 30 02 - IOM paid almost 10 percent of presumably eligible claims
· Aug 22 01 - New Filing Deadline For Claims Under Swiss Banks Settlement
· May 10 01 - Judge Kram grants Central and East European countries request for emergency relief
· Mar 13 01 - IOM is ready to make payments but Recent US Court decision may further delay compensation
· Mar 7 01 - Judge’s decision not to dismiss Holocaust banking cases should not deter forced laborers from filing applications
· Mar 7 01 - U.S. Court Decision on Holocaust-Era Payments
· Jan 17 01 - Ukrainian American lawyer receives Presidential recognition
· Oct 29 00 - Austrian Forced Labor Compensation Agreements Signed
· Oct 29 00 - Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Maidannyk's speech at the signing of the Ukrainian-Austrian agreements
· Oct 18 00 - Update on German and Austrian Forced Labor Class Action Litigation
· Oct 18 00 - Остання інформація стосовно проблеми вирішення колективного позову, заявленого колишніми примусовими працівниками (UkrCP1251)
· Jul 19 00 - Forced/Slave Labor Accord Signed After Lengthy Negotiations
· May 22 00 - Austrian Forced Labor Negotiations Progress Quickly
· Apr 21 00 - Questions regarding applying for forced labor compensation
· Jan 5 00 - Slave/forced Labor Settlement Reached
· Nov 30 99 - German Forced Labor Settlement at a Crossroads
· Oct 10 99 - Germans offer 6 Billion Marks as compensation to WW II victims
· Sept 15 99, Press Release - Appeal to Ukrainian Forced/Slave Laborers
· Aug 15 99, Press Release - Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation
· Aug 12 99, Press Release - Reparations Sought by Ukrainian Slave Laborers

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