Ukraine: Government Resigned; Chance to Re-Visit Draft Labour Law

05 March 2020 18:37

On 4 March 2020, the Ukrainian Government resigned and has been replaced. One of the controversial measures that had been proposed by the previous Government was a drastic reform of the labour law that would have jeopardised the respect of the human rights of workers, job security, and social protections. 

Last week’s PERC/ITUC/ETUC mission was given promises that changes in the labour law would not be made without consultation with trade unions and employer organisations and that any future revisions would be made in line with ILO standards. 

These assurances were made by what is now a previous Government. The change of Government; however, provides an excellent opportunity to start all over and get it right from the beginning through any and all legal means.  

The important and central issue is that this proposed legislation was very ill-conceived and dangerous and would have damaged not only worker rights and conditions, but also the economy, the unity of the country in difficult times, and democracy itself. 

“We would like to thank once again our brothers and sisters around the globe for their solidarity support. The Government resigned and, that change provides another powerful argument to re-consider the legislation. However, we are not lowering our guard. Our fight is not over. The new Government was appointed yesterday, and we will look closely at its composition and on their policy proposals, especially on labour law reform. We need to remain in a state of mobilisation if we are to protect workers’ freedom of association and many other rights,” said Vasyl Andreyev, PROFBUD President. 

“We all also are excited about the rapid mobilisation in our ranks around the world. BWI will continue to stand at the side of PROFBUD and closely follow their struggle. Both the opportunities and the dangers posed by the change in Government may require another global mobilisation. That means that the message of BWI to our member organisations must be mixed; great job, but, let us be prepared for the future. No country is an island and it is not only domestic legislation that matters, but also Ukraine’s solemn commitments to the European Union and to the ILO, the only international governance system on workers’ human rights and labour standards,” said Ambet Yuson, the BWI General Secretary.