European unions intensify ILO 190 push, reject Ukraine’s anti-union law

45 trade union leaders and officials from the BWI affiliates in Pan Europe, including 27 European Regional Committee titular members and substitutes, members of the European Regional Women and Youth Committees, Pan European Presidium and observers agreed to intensify their campaign for the ratification of ILO’s Violence and Harassment Convention 190 and reject Ukraine’s proposed anti-union law.

In an online meeting on 18 June, Rita Schiavi, Chair of the European Regional Women’s Committee, called on BWI ERC members to adopt a resolution calling for the intensification of their campaign for the ratification of the ILO Convention 190. BWI women trade unionists from Pan-Europe affiliates raised the urgency after the alarming rise of domestic violence cases in the region as a result of the pandemic, and after the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on 12 June announced that Uruguay became the first country to ratify its Violence and Harassment Convention. With only two ratifications needed for the convention to take full effect, the campaign becomes more urgent and important. 

An emergency resolution was also introduced by the Construction and Building Materials Workers Union of Ukraine (PROFBUD) President Vasyl Andreyev, urging affiliates to add their voices in calling the Ukrainian government to remove from its parliamentary agenda a proposed anti-union law. PROFBUD explained that the proposed measure seeks to amend its trade union law which will strip workers of their rights and weaken trade unions.

The issue of migration, especially amidst a pandemic, was also widely discussed. It was mutually agreed that despite all the challenges that COVID-19 brought to migrant workers, including risks of deepening existing inequalities between West and East of Europe and anti-humanitarian policies implemented towards refugees, the pandemic also reminded everyone that migrants are an integral part of any economy and society. They said that the global health crisis could also become an opportunity to reconsider business models and migration policies.