Hands off Ukrainian Trade Unions – Day of Solidarity – 30 June

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Ukraine: national warning protest action

30 June 2020  http://www.fpsu.org.ua/

 On 30 June 2020, trade unions, representing all sectors of the economy, held All-Ukrainian warning protest action. In Kyiv and other major cities trade union activists went to the streets demanding not to adopt the anti-union draft law 2681 as well as other anti-social draft laws. The main form of the protest was picketing of national and local authorities.

In Kyiv, several thousand activists picketed buildings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Office of the President of Ukraine. Representatives of a number of sectoral trade unions voiced their demands to the members of the Parliament and to the President.

During the protest action, the trade union activists handed over the demands of the trade unions to MPs and representative of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

Demands of All-Ukrainian trade union information protest:

  1. To stop further promotion by the Government of the anti-social draft law on labour that violates the rights of citizens.
  2. To withdraw from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the anti-trade union draft law No 2681 initiated by pro-president party. Trade union reform should be developed only with the participation of trade unions.
  3. To delete from the draft law No 2275 the article depriving the trade unions and employers of the right to equal representation at the boards of social insurance funds.
  4. To remove Halyna Tretyakova from the position of the Chairman of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Social Policy and Protection of Veterans’ Rights for pursuing anti-social policy and inhumane attitude towards the citizens of Ukraine.
  5. To resume activities at workplaces and provide financial support to workers affected by the pandemic economic crisis. To pay off wage arrears.
  6. To maintain the affordability of health care services to the population by giving up the policy of closing health care facilities and dismissing health workers and by ensuring decent wages and safe working conditions for them in times of COVID-19 crisis.

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(29 June 2020) Ukrainian unions are organizing a week of actions against the proposals of the Zelenskyy government to reform the labour legislation week of 30 June. The global union movement is expressing support. EPSU has sent letters to the government, parliament and embassy as well.

We are concerned about the rush to pass the labour legislation as it violates relevant international labour standards. EPSU, ETUC and others have made this point earlier this year in a joint delegation. The unions note the serious violations of Conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The draft legislation will:

  • Limit the exercise of the right to freedom of association by arbitrarily reducing the number of workplace unions;
  • Deny managerial staff the right to form or join a union;
  • Set a minimum membership threshold which undermines the right of workers to form or join unions of their choice, especially workers in small- and medium-sized enterprises;
  • Create a new trade union supervisory body with wide and unchecked powers to control the activities of trade unions;
  • Remove the employer’s obligation to provide collective bargaining information to trade unions;
  • Remove trade union access to the check-off system for trade union membership dues collection and granting the government power to confiscate trade union property, thereby undermining trade union independence and autonomy. EPSU will also inform the European Union. The Ukraine is an important trade partner of the EU and has signed a Deep and Comprehensive Trade Agreement. This sets out that the Ukrainian government is to respect its obligations. Member States did not sign the trade agreement to have weaker labour legislation to be in place.

ILO Convention 87 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention

ILO Convention 98 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention

For a previous article on the joint trade union delegation

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