Kyrgyzstan: Workers launch massive protests against anti-union law

Big protest actions from various trade unions greeted the Kyrgyzstan parliament on 12 November after it introduced a measure seeking to amend the country’s trade union law. Trade unions led by the BWI-affiliated Construction and Building Materials Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan demanded the measure’s immediate withdrawal saying that it would cripple trade union organising and is in violation of international labour treaties and treaties. 

In a video message, trade union leader Eldiiar Karachalov called on fellow workers to close ranks in opposing the measure. “This bill threatens the very existence of our country’s trade unions. Fortunately, we are not alone in this fight. We will call on the international trade union movement and trade unionist members of the European Parliament and the State Duma of the Russian Federation to put pressure on our parliament to withdraw this bill,” he said.  

BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson expressed his support for the protest actions. “We are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Kyrgyzstan who are defending trade union rights and democracy. BWI reiterates its call for the urgent release of Kanatbeck Osmonov from house arrest and an end to all forms of government harassment and interference to trade union affairs,” he said. 

On 5 November, MPs Gulkan Moldobekova, Kozhobek Ryspayev and Mirlan Bakirov introduced the said measure despite the absence of a quorum. 

Trade unions said that another massive protest is scheduled on 17 November.