5 November 2015 the Parliament of Ukraine has adopted in the first reading the draft of new Labour Code. As it became clear later, parliament speaker of that timeMr. Volodymyr Groisman has fooled MPs insisting that adoption of the Labour Code is EU demand for visa-free regime for the citizens of Ukraine.
Ukrainian trade union and left-wing activists immediately correctly declared this draft of new Labour Code as predator and anti-worker one. Also we adopted the decision that independent trade unions should immediately take part in the work of the Working group of Parliament committee on the issues of social policy employment and pension provision for making impossible sharp worsening of the freedoms and rights of workers and trade unions via adoption of this draft of new Labour Code.
Unfortunately, real picture was completely different and very unpleasant. The job of the Working group was absolutely hidden and opaque for Ukrainian society and independent trade unions, where the representatives of employers and sub-controlled to oligarchic influences “official” Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FTUU) in fact, betrayed the interests of wide layers of Ukrainian workers.
Because of extreme cloudiness of the Labour Code preparation for the second reading Ukrainian society still doesn’t know, which propositions from the trade unions were taken into account by the profile committee headed by Mrs. Liudmyla Denysova. At the present time we have the information that the most blatant and shameful norms of the Labour Code weren’t change and are being prepared for the voting in the second reading. Even its brief list is very impressive:
Article 86 of the draft allows the possibility of outrageous mass firing of the employees under the employer’s wish without any possibilities of their defense свавільних масових скорочень працівників по волі роботодавця без жодних варіантів їх захисту.
Article 92 of the draft lets employers to fire workers, which serve financial and material values “because of losing the confidence”, even if it’s not connected with the job.
Article 92 of the draft lets employers to fire the worker, employed in the educational area for making “immoral deed”, even if this deed took place not at the work. It’s clear that “morality” and “immorality” will be decided exclusively by employer.
Article 158 of the draft allows attraction of some categories of the workers to the job in holiday and festive days without their agreement.
The same Article 158 of the draft deprives the employees of the double-paying for job on holidays.
Article 65 of the draft lets the employers to move the workers to other workplace (even to other city) without their agreement.
Article 30 of the draft lets the employers to conduct the video and audio surveillance over the workers during the whole working day, roughly ignoring the basic human right for private life.
Article 108 of the draft deprives single mothers of presently existing defense and lets the employers to roughly fire them because of any reason.
Article 291 of the draft lets attract women with children to night works, the works on holiday and festive days and attract them to overtime works, depriving women with children from the guarantees of defense acting at the present time.
Article 58 of the draft sets the fact that labour contract is provided to the employee during 7 days since beginning of the work, i.e. it provokes the employers to using “fraud” schemes, where the employees will work 6 days for free and then will not be adopted for the work because “they’re not good enough for this job”.
One of the most blatant points is the norm of Article 12 of the draft, where all legislation volume of labour regulation, which falls outside the limits of the Labour Code, is transferred to so-called “employer normative acts”, which are adopted exclusively by the employer and should not be coordinated with trade unions.
Generally trade unions rights are considerably limited in this draft; and it could lead to immediate destruction of whole trade union movement in Ukraine because of impossibility of court and trade union defense from illegal firing. In particular, it’ll be possible to fire the employee without preliminary agreement of trade union committee.
As many as 52 article of the Labour Code draft determine the coordination of particular employer’s action with “trade union committee”, in singular form. Undoubtedly, it’s made for provoke the employers to establish their “pocket” trade union, consisted on third persons and “coordinate” with them all important issues of the labour process.
There are also not less terrible norms f\directed on worsening of labour conditions, including non-adult children, in the draft of new Labour Code. In particular, it includes the cancellation of prohibition to the establishment of so-called “probation term” for the children of from 14 to 15 years old, which will inevitably lead to increasing of children labour exploitation and distribution of “fraud” schemes also in this area of labour relations.
The list of all problems of the draft of new Labour Code looks, under the opinion of roundtable participants, absolutely boundless. Under our opinion, this draft makes considerably worse the rights and freedoms of the working people and will lead to its serious narrowing. This draft received 59 serious reproofs from the ILO, which almost were not taken into account; and even those minor points, which were taking into account, have decorative and non-important nature. In accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine, the Parliament of Ukraine has no right to adopt such laws, moreover, such “Labour Constitution of Ukraine”.
Thus, we resolutely and unanimously:
- call the Parliament of Ukraine to immediately refuse of viewing of the draft of new Labour code in the second reading;
- call the international left-wing and trade union activists and organizations for solidarity with our struggle against this anti-worker and anti-union draft of new Labour Code;
- call all Ukrainian workers for mass protest actions against the adoption of new Labour Code.
We have to especially note that in Ukraine the time comes, when all functions of state and territorial inspections on the labour issues should be transferred to the controls of trade unions apt to coordination and even election of the chiefs of lathe labour inspections by trade unions itself as the most interested and the most objective in the realization of the policy of control over fulfilling of labour legislation, legislation of people’s employment and general obligatory state social insurance, including to provide to the trade unions right to arrange the administrative reports regarding the violations of labour legislation by the owner or its administration representatives.
Adopted by the participants of the Roundtable of trade union and left-wing activists in Odesa, 10 September 2016 (32 signatures)