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Victory of trade unions in Kyrgyzstan

28 April, 2014In the middle of March IndustriALL Global Union organized the international campaign of solidarity in protection of the rights of workers in Kyrgyzstan. As the result of this campaign the antistrike draft of law was blocked.

At the end of February 2014 amendments to the Criminal Code were submitted to the parliament of Republic of Kyrgyzstan. According to these amendments directors and staff of strategically important enterprises could be imprisoned for up to 15 years for failure or stoppage of production. This bill was published on February 28, 2014 on the official website Zhogorka Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic for ensuring public discussion.

It was followed by reaction of IndustriALL and other labor unions in protection of the rights of workers and the international campaign in support of the rights of workers was organized. IndustriALL made a motion to withdraw the bill or make changes to it.

The adoption of this bill was counted inexpedient after a train of the protest letters directed to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, to the heads of parliamentary fractions and the speaker of Parliament. As a result, drafting amendments were made to the bill. Thanks to these amendments action of this bill won't extend on the non-management employees participating in strikes, but only on directors and structural divisions for intentional actions which can entail stoppage of production.
Now discussion of the bill is performed in the edition which isn't violating legitimate rights of workers on holding strikes.

Eldar Tadzhibayev, the chairman of the Mining and Metallurgy Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan (MMTUK), an affiliate of IndustriALL, estimates such result as a clear victory of trade unions:

This has been achieved through the mass protest letters from MMTUK, the federation of trade unions and industry professional associations, the international professional associations, such as IndistriALL Global Union and from the divisions of labor unions in other countries. We didn't allow adoption of the anticonstitutional bill.

 Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL, says:

We are glad that our joint efforts helped the MMTUK to fight back the planned attack on the workers' rights to defend their interests.