WORLD DAY FOR DECENT WORK 2016 IN UKRAINE
On 7th October Ukrainian trade unions along with their counterparts from other countries celebrate the World Day for Decent Work. The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine marked this day by picketing the buildings of the central authorities in Kyiv.
The aim of the pickets was to draw attention of the executive authorities to decent work challenges in Ukraine and to inform the broad public about trade union demands and actions.
Trade unionists from the FPU and its affiliates picketed the buildings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, parliamentary committees, the Government.
They handed out a special issue of the newspaper “Trade Union News”, leaflets on decent work and explained passerby that decent work means, above all, decent and timely pay, new high-tech jobs, protecting workers’ rights to join trade unions and bargain collectively. It provides for elimination of discrimination, child and forced labour, creation of social protection system for unemployed.
Picketers held slogans “Trade Unions for Decent Work and Welfare”, “High prices? – High wages!”, “Ukrainian Workers Deserve European Wages” and others.
Addressing the participants of the pickets FPU President Grygorii Osovyi highlighted a number of challenges at the labour market: unemployment, low wages, dangerous working condition, etc. He reconfirmed that Ukrainian trade unions would continue struggle for higher, European level, wages.
In the run up to the World Day for Decent Work and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty the FPU Presidium adopted a statement outlining major trade unions demands.
The FPU Presidium noted that for the last three years Ukrainian labour market has lost 2 million people. Today there are 43 unemployed per one vacancy. The number of workers employed in the informal economy in the 1st quarter 2016 was 3.8 million, or 23.4% of the total workforce. The real wages decreased by 74.6% in 2014–2015. Every fifth worker is poor.
Therefore, the FPU urged:
• Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to adopt the legislation on wages (draft laws Nos. 2533, 3438, 4900, 4900-1).
• President of Ukraine to support trade union legislative initiatives aimed at protecting social and economic rights of workers, in particular regarding:
o Substantial increase in wages in face of rising prices and tariffs;
o Introducing sectoral augmentative ratios to minimum wage in the non-budget sphere;
o Ensuring timely payment of wages.
• Government and employers:
o To accelerate structural and technological restructuring of the real economy in order to increase productivity and provide citizens with social and economic conditions meeting European standards;
o To create new modern secure and upgrade existing jobs in order to reduce unemployment among economically active population, including young people;
o To intensify the activity of working groups on remuneration system reform and develop proposals on revision of natural gas prices in order to set them at the reasonable level;
o To increase wages, in particular by reducing the single social contribution rate in order to maintain solvency of the population in face of rising gas, housing and utilities prices and tariffs;
o To clear wage arrears and prevent new wage arrears;
• Trade unions of all levels to strengthen collective bargaining with employers on increasing wages.