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Ukraine: Law reform threatens workers and trade union rights

15 September, 2015A recent legislative initiative in Ukraine could lead to a drastic reduction the creation of free and democratic trade unions in the country.

In July 2015, the Ukrainian parliament approved at a first hearing Draft Law № 2983 “On State Registration of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Community Groups”.

Instead of the current notification system on the trade union creation, the draft law introduces a strict procedure for registration of trade unions and their associations by public authorities. This is a clear violation of Article 2 of the ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, which defines that “workers shall have the right to establish and, subject only to the rules of the organisation concerned, to join organisations of their own choosing without previous authorisation.”

If adopted, this draft law would amend the law "On Trade Unions, Their Rights and Guarantees of Activity” and weaken trade unions’ autonomy and depriving them of the protection from

external interference, including that from public authorities. IndustriALL Global Union shares the concerns of its Ukrainian affiliates that this could result in state control over trade union activity.

In a letter sent to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, IndustriALL is  calling on the Ukrainian parliament to withdraw the draft law that contradicts international labour conventions ratified by Ukraine and violates basic workers and trade union rights, such as freedom of association. Efforts should instead be made to ensure that a new revision of this draft law respects trade union rights and abides by international laws.