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Draft labour law in Ukraine restricts union activities

7 January, 2020Ukraine has a new draft labour law, which is in contravention of national labour law and international core labour standards, and will seriously undermine fundamental workers’ rights.

IndustriALL Global Union joins Ukrainian affiliates, Ukrainian trade union federations, and the ITUC in strongly opposing the imposition of a new labour law, which was introduced in Parliament on 27 December, without any prior consultation with trade unions.

Its current provisions would seriously undermine fundamental workers’ rights, allowing for unfair dismissals; short-term individual labour contracts, and zero hours’ contracts; overtime becoming the norm, being paid at a fifth of current rates, and with normal working hours likely to exceed eight hours a day; abolition of some social guarantees, and reduced protection for mothers with small children, making their dismissal even easier; the possibility of transferring an employee to another workplace without their consent; banning of collective bargaining; and excluding unions from the workplace.

IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Valter Sanches says:

"We are extremely concerned about the impact of this labour law on workers.

"IndustriALL is calling on Ukraine’s government to immediately remove the draft labour law, and act in full accordance with the commitments made at the national level with social partners, and at the international level through the strict respect and implementation of international labour conventions, which have been ratified by Ukraine."

The draft law is in contravention of national labour law and international core labour standards, including ILO Conventions 131 on Minimum Wage Fixing, Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise , and Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining.

The European Trade Union Confederation has pledged to raise the issue with the European Commission and Parliament on the basis that the draft law contradicts the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.