Геннадий Михайлюк (Профсоюз работников атомной энергетики и промышленности Украины) и Мария Ткаченко (Фонд им. Ф. Эберта)
During the workshop held on 14-16 October in Odessa, Ukraine, with support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) the unionists of the Nuclear Power and Industry Workers' Union of Ukraine and the Unіоn оf Епеrgу аnd Elеctrotechnical Industry Workers of Ukraine, IndustriALL Global Union affiliates, discussed strategies to fight the expansion of precarious work.
Vadim Borisov, IndustriALL Global Union regional representative in Moscow, spoke about the worldwide trade union struggle against precarious work and shared the experience of limiting precarious work during the collective bargaining at the enterprise level.
Gennady Mikhailyuk, the chief expert for industrial relations at the Nuclear Power and Industry Workers’ Union of Ukraine, emphasized the importance of the workshop topic, "Workers outsourced from the enterprise are not subject to our collective agreement anymore. They lose their social protection and benefits normally provided trough the collective agreement. Even if they succeed to reach a collective agreement with the contractor, usually it is less advantageous than the one at the main enterprise... Recruiting workers as independent contractors instead of regular employees is a new reality for us. It happens at the enterprises servicing nuclear power plants".
Workshop participants learned the difference between different types of precarious work including outsourcing, staff leasing and contracting out labour force to a third party (also known as ‘outstaffing’). They mapped the situation the unionists are dealing with, outlined the problems and developed the strategic approach to solve them, as well as some recommendations to prevent the expansion of precarious work. The following solutions were considered in order to make different forms of precarious work less attractive to the employer:
- If the workers say they can't join a union because of an employment agreement clause stating that they can't be union members, the union can apply to the Public Prosecutor’s Office claiming it is a violation of the legislation, or find a way to insist on prosecutor’s officers visit to this private employment agency;
- One should demand from the private employment agencies to provide state licences permitting their activity and documents confirming skills, qualification, etc. for each worker they supply;
- At the plant level union members can organize picket line in front of the private employment agency that supplies workers to their enterprise.
Vadim Borisov spoke about the idea of the IndustriALL Global Union Regional Office to conduct the first ever global flash mob for decent labour on 7 October 2015. Workshop participants supported this idea and organized a "STOP Precarious Work" mini-flash mob.
Alexander Davidenko, the deputy chairman of the Unіоn оf Еnеrgу аnd Elеctrotechnical Industry Workers of Ukraine, mentioned that this was the second workshop dedicated to the issue of precarious work: "We planned them in advance and we hope that we will be able to submit our best practices to the conference in November, which will then make suggestions to the Supreme Council of Ukraine and to the government in order to legally limit atypical forms of employment. We already use many of these practices at our privately owned enterprises".