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The critical analysis of the antilabor law in Kazakhstan is submitted to the ILO

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12 September, 2014At the beginning of September of this year the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Kazakhstan (CFTUK) sent the review of basic provisions of the Kazakh law "About Labor Unions" to Committee of experts of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The notorious law became object of sharp criticism from the international trade-union movement at a consideration stage as the bill.

CFTUK in the review in details analyzes articles of the new law "About Labor Unions" which seriously limit opportunities for activity of the trade-union movement of the country. According to the law, labor unions have to be created on territorial and exclusively branch sign. Again created association of workers will receive temporary registration, but within six months it is necessary to designate belonging to branch structure and respectively to Republican. Otherwise registration will be cancelled.

It is specified in the document that the law enters trade-union monopoly at the branch level as such opportunities in Kazakhstan with assistance of the state has only the Federation of Trade unions of Kazakhstan (FTUK) possesses. The existing independent labor unions will also have to enter into the general centralized system. Thus, this law limits the right for independent activity of labor unions and creates prerequisites for centralization and controllability from under control to government institutions of FTUK. Again created and existing labor unions with the purposes and tasks will be deprived of opportunity to work independently and to defend interests of workers.

In the review of CFTUK submitted to the ILO, there are also other acts limiting trade-union activity, - formation of unregistered labor unions (including parties), as well as participation in them, according to new Criminal Code, is punished by criminal liability, provides imprisonment about three months according to article 403. The organization and participation in "illegal strikes" is punished by three years' prison punishment. Serious crime remains and "kindling of social discord" within article 164 and about 12 years of imprisonment are punished.

In June, 2014 the senate of parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, adopted the law "About Labor Unions" which deprives of the right of workers for association in the organizations. Besides, senators accepted new versions of Criminal, Criminal procedure and Administrative codes. New amendments impose criminal liability for participation in the labor conflicts and formulate new crimes and legal terms about activity of labor unions, opposition and public organizations.

The leading human rights associations passed unambiguously an opinion on this innovation, having declared that the provision on "illegal intervention of members of public associations in activity of government bodies" due to the lack of clear and unambiguous interpretation of the concept "illegal intervention" will allow government bodies to treat any fair requirement of the public in the person of members of public associations as illegal intervention in their activity and will nullify public control in the country".

The new laws directed against workers, are adopted in anticipation of new mass privatization, including the enterprises where there was almost eight-months strike of oil industry workers to Zhanaozene, and increases in norms of operation in all branches of economy not to allow the organized resistance from labor collectives and to put their fight beyond the law.