Ukraine: Government Promises New Laws Will Comply with ILO Standards

The ITUC and ETUC have won promises from the Ukrainian authorities that planned new labour laws will comply with ILO standards and EU labour law and that trade unions will be consulted in the process of drafting the legislation.

Under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Ukraine is committed to respecting core ILO standards, other ILO Conventions it has ratified and relevant EU laws.

A high-level ITUC/ETUC mission to Ukraine, led by ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini and ITUC Deputy General Secretary Owen Tudor received the assurances from the Chair of the Parliament’s Labour Committee and the Economy Minister last week.

The mission was organised after the government put forward a first draft of a new labour law on 27 December. That draft contained provisions which would have eliminated basic rights and conditions for the country’s workers.

“We will hold Ukrainian Ministers and politicians to account, so that they fulfill their pledges and promises to us, and we will ensure that the ILO and European Commission play their part in defining what needs to be done to make the draft legislation compliant with ILO standards and the EU Association Agreement,” said Visentini.

Unions around the world took solidarity actions in support of their Ukraine colleagues on 25 February, and the strength of the international criticism of the December draft law has had an impact on the government, on top of mobilisation by Ukraine’s unions inside the country.

“We hope that justice, fairness and respect for workers will prevail, and that unions will be able to take advantage of the opportunities to strengthen worker representation, eradicate wage arrears and raise wages generally,” said Tudor.

The ITUC and ETUC will continue their support for the Ukrainian trade union movement, and are ready to cooperate with the government in any genuine process of consultation.