Ukraine: commerce union property threatened by authorities

The ILO performed an investigation into the property battle in 2020, when it inspired the Ukrainian authorities to “interact in consultations” with commerce unions. The company states that safety of commerce union property is crucial for unions to train their rights. openDemocracy has beforehand reported on indicators that the connection between Ukrainian reformers and the ILO has come below pressure since Russia’s invasion.

A senior commerce union official, on situation of anonymity, instructed openDemocracy that commerce union property has change into a supply of “blackmail” for the federal government.

“Each time [FPU] ought to have known as a strike or made severe calls for, the federal government has used this property to blackmail them,” they mentioned, pointing to prison investigations into the use or disposal of sure websites.

Talking in regards to the confiscation powers, Dmytro Natalukha, an MP with the ruling Servant of the Individuals occasion, mentioned the Ukrainian state had misplaced management of as much as $2bn value of property attributable to “raiding” by commerce unions for the reason that finish of the Soviet Union.

Earlier this yr, the FPU mentioned it was “particularly cynical” that the Ukrainian parliament deliberate to vote for confiscation powers in “turbo mode” (below wartime measures that enable it to bypass commonplace parliamentary process) after the European Union had accepted Ukraine’s candidacy in June.

Such powers, it mentioned, have been “on no account in line with Ukraine’s standing as an EU candidate nation, the place the proper of possession is inviolable and confiscation is inconceivable”.

Final yr, the EU “careworn the significance of consulting with commerce unions” to the Ukrainian authorities over any last settlement on property, in line with diplomatic correspondence acquired by way of a freedom of data request by openDemocracy.

The draft legal guidelines on commerce union property are set to be debated additional by the Ukrainian parliament.

Different controversial labour laws

Because the Russian invasion, the ruling Servant of the Individuals occasion has pushed by controversial labour laws that had already been ready earlier than the warfare, initially of Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s presidency in 2020. Analysts have known as the transfer “opportunistic”.

The goal of this new laws, the ministry mentioned earlier this yr, is to create an “enticing” labour regulation that might “simplify laws, minimise state intervention within the regulation of employment and type a system of versatile safety”. The laws will make it simpler for employers to fireplace workers – and make it practically inconceivable for commerce unions to withstand makes an attempt to fireplace their members.

It would additionally cut back commerce union affect on wages, office security, size of shifts and situations. In impact, unions will tackle a public monitoring position, relatively than defending the pursuits of their members.

New laws already makes it doable for small and medium-sized enterprises to not observe nationwide labour regulation.

Zelenskyi’s authorities can also be planning a brand new pension reform – a politically controversial transfer that the FPU opposes.

The federal government’s plans for postwar reconstruction have signalled an strategy of “non-interference of the state in dialogue between commerce unions and employers” – that’s, a transfer away from the ILO-supported ‘social dialogue precept’, whereby the federal government consults with each commerce unions and employers’ associations on financial coverage.

Authorities reconstruction plans have mentioned that Ukrainian staff’ “low loyalty to reforms” and the “energetic place of resistance taken by commerce unions” are “key institutional restraints” to deliberate reforms.

Thomas Rowley contributed reporting to this text.

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