Unions have positive meeting with president but criticise IMF

Ukraine Ukraine
President Viktor Yanukovych met with the FPU trade union confederation and other trade union representatives on 19 March to discuss a range of issues related to tackling the economic crisis. He underlined the importance of consultation with the unions, particularly over key social and economic issues and said he would personally promote adoption of the law on social dialogue by the Parliament. Yanukovych also affirmed the need for consultation with unions over setting state and local government budgets and to achieve a decent wage as an increase in purchasing power was vital for economic development. FPU president Vasyl Khara agreed that social dialogue with the government needed to improve and submitted a number of proposals on this. Meanwhile the FPU has also issued a statement criticising international financial institutions for imposing policies on Ukraine that include higher gas prices and taxes while freezing pensions and the minimum wage. The Confederation also calls for changes to the wages system that leaves two third of workers in education, culture, health and social security on below average wages and the majority below the poverty line.

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