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IndustriALL in Kazakhstan: workshops mark the beginning of wide-ranging work

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5 September, 2012
On 23-24 August two one-day workshops were held in Aktau, Western Kazakhstan, on the advocacy of labour rights by trade unions. Overall about 50 union leaders and activists from oil companies in the Mangystau region took part in the workshops.

“IndustriALL views the workshops as a beginning of wide-ranging work in Kazakhstan,” said Vadim Borisov, representative of IndustriALL Global Union for CIS countries.

Sergius Glovackas, senior specialist in workers’ activities at ILO Moscow, told the participants about the instruments for defending workers’ rights provided by the International Labour Organization.

Vadim Borisov examined the forms of workers’ rights advocacy in the world and discussed social and economic conditions of oil workers.

Gulnara Zhumgeldieva, Alfiya Peresunko, and Abdulkarim Akhatov from the Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan dealt with the questions of labour law and health and safety.

The participants discussed daily problems of oil workers and the ways of solving them. They identified as key problems the weakness of industry collective agreement and dissociation of oil workers, even when they are union members. Often the unions exist only at enterprise level and act practically alone.

Representatives of the ILO and IndustriALL Global Union will support organizing such workshops in other oil-extracting regions in Kazakhstan. A national conference of oil workers could follow, aimed at discussing common rates and industry agreement as well as rebuilding the unity of workers’ movement on the national level.

“We support the efforts of Kazakh oil workers at unification and welcome the creation of powerful industry union, which will enable the resolution of industrial conflicts peacefully and effectively,” concluded Vadim Borisov.