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Youth forum in Kyrgyzstan discuss organizing and communication

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9 June, 2023Better conditions for home workers, organizing and trade union communications were topics on the agenda at the Youth forum in Kyrgyzstan. On 1 and 2 June, IndustriALL brought together young trade union leaders and activists from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan under the age of 35. 

Affiliates are following IndustriALL's recommendations in the field of youth policy.  Youth committees have been established in all national trade unions and the youth are represented in all elected bodies. 70 per cent of the participants are women and this is a testament to the effective implementation of gender policies at IndustriALL events and activities. 
Chairman of the Trade Union of Textile and Light Industry Workers of Kyrgyzstan, Almabubu Zharkynbayeva, said: 

“Many of our seamstresses work from home, and this makes their life unbearable. They are obligated to fulfill the order from the employer and at the same time do all the work at home, including caring for elderly parents. Most times they are registered as individual entrepreneurs, and the employer does everything to get away from regulating relations with the help of the Labour Code, saying that these are relations of a civil nature. We see our task in bringing work out of the shadow economy into the legal field. From this point of view, the union welcomes the government's plans to create a large technopark, where big enterprises will work, and the hiring of workers will take place without the use of illegal gray, and black schemes.”

These schemes make room for employers to avoid social responsibilities towards workers and to avoid taxation. 
Chairman of the Mining and Metallurgical Workers’ Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan (MMWTUC), Eldar Tadjibaev said: 

“Thanks to IndustriALL’s continuous work in the region, we see that trade union ideas have taken root in the working environment and are starting to spread actively. Workers/members of the trade union of the gold mining enterprise Altynken started working at Jerooy and became the initiators of the creation of a new trade union organization at this enterprise.”

Participants also shared their experience of communication work, an important element in strengthening trade unions. The chairman of the MMWTUC continues his profile on Tik-Tok with daily legal consultations on labour issues and answers questions that are asked in the comments section. Such engagement has led to an increased number of subscribers on Tik-Tok exceeding 11 000.  For many publications, the number of views is almost 100 000. The Mobile Trade Union application created provides daily trade union news and gives solid discounts in many retail chains, restaurants, foreign language learning centers, etc. 
Vadim Borisov said: 

“A nice feature of affiliates in Kyrgyzstan is that after each seminar they try to put into practice the ideas that were voiced at the forum and then they decide what works and what doesn’t. The Mining and Metallurgical Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan has been an experimental platform on which many trade union initiatives are being tested. For example, MMWTUC specialists conducted classes on labour relations for students at the Mining Institute to give future workers knowledge about their labour rights and about the protective functions of the trade union. This is serious work for the future.”