Regional meeting of the TOTU (territorial organization of trade unions) Almaty and Almaty region

A regional meeting of Trade Unions’ Territorial Association of  Almaty and Almaty region was held on the basis of the Territorial association of trade unions called “Trade Union Center of  Almaty” on January 18, 2019, chaired by  Nurymbetov B. B., the First Deputy Chairman of the Trade Union Federation of  the Republic of Kazakhstan. The event involved participation of chairmen of  industry and local trade unions’ branches of the two regions and social partners.

Opening the meeting, Nurymbetov N.B.  noted that the main work in the trade union movement takes place in the regions, so it is not accidental that such report meetings are held. Furthermore, he focused on the main points of work in 2018: The Trade Union Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan paid great attention to work with the regions, work in the regions, communication with the primary trade union organizations, the administration of the federation personally held meetings with the primary organizations. Additionally, a number of major events was held, especially in the field of occupational safety and health. In terms of public control, the most important function of trade unions is to identify and prevent the resolution of labor disputes. Many things touched upon the rule-making process:  proposals for amendments to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Trade Unions” and to the Labor Code were introduced. The 25th  extraordinary congress was also carried out. A new Charter of the Trade Union Federation were approved. Moreover, there were many innovations in the trade union movement that were widely discussed.

Summing up last year’s achievements, Zauresh Umirbayeva, the chairwoman of the trade unions’ territorial association of  “The Trade Union Center of Almaty”, noted that last year work on improving the working conditions of enterprise workers was carried out comprehensively.

She said: “Understanding the needs of employees, we have always tried to proceed from their interests. Therefore, we mainly focused on issues such as wage increases, collective agreements, the creation of primary trade union organizations, safety and labor protection, social partnership and others.

The speaker proceeded in more detail concerning the aforementioned aspects. For example, in Almaty, about 97 thousand workers have already obtained confirmation on salary increases. On average, wages for low-paid workers is being increased up to 24%.

Also, about 400 thousand employees in the city from more than 12 thousand enterprises receive benefits and guarantees through the signing of collective agreements. The document provides social guarantees, relating to protection of labor rights, salary, labor protection, improvement health and rest conditions for employees. Over the last 3.5-month period, more than 7.4 thousand collective agreements were signed in the city.

Continuing the meeting, Umirbayeva told that in order to prevent informal labor relations, the trade union center participated in the republican action “Conclude an employment contract”. A special “hot line” and “trust line”  were opened for sucessful implementation of the program. Also,  “Trust boxes” were installed in crowded placesof the city. Besides, over 200 enterprises where labor contracts were signed with more than 960 employees were carefully examined.

In addition, in 2018, 3 branches of industry and 60 primary trade union organizations were created, involved about 11 thousand workers. Thus, the total number of trade union members in Almaty reached 200 thousand people. 263 people received enough assistance and advice on issues, relating labor disputes and salary recovery, reinstatement, compensation, family conflicts at the Tatulas Ortaligy Conciliation Center, opened as part of the Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation, concluded between the Supreme Court and the Trade Union Federation. As a result of this,  42 mediation agreements were reached. Much work has been done to implement the Roadmap of the modernization of the Trade Union Federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2018-2019. Moreover, all the activities carried out by the trade union center are constantly illuminated in the mass media and social networks, which helps to strengthen the positive image of the trade unions of Almaty: 8 speeches by the chairman of the Trade Union Center on national television, 4 on local television, 48 articles in national printed publications, over 250 materials on the Internet resources and social networks. The progress of the modernization of the trade union movement was announced on November 21, 2018 at a briefing in the regional central communications service of Almaty for journalists. The training center of the Trade Unions’ Territorial Association of  “Trade Union Center of Almaty” holds seminars on labor relations for managers, inspectors of personnel services and personnel management services as well as the trade union activists of the city on a monthly basis. Overall, 500 people have been trained. Almaty trade unions also contribute to the fight against injuries and accidents at workplaces. At the end of 2018, there was a considerable decrease in the number of accidents by 13% compared with 2017, a decrease in the number of victims by 15%, the number of fatal injuries was 13 cases in 2018 (2017–17 cases).

The activity of the youth trade union wing called “Keleshek” is also the most important direction of involving youth in the trade union membership. The following events took place: 3 job fairs were held, a seminar “Social justice” was held together with the social partners, a round table on the theme: “Preparing the working youth in Almaty through the Productive employment and mass entrepreneurship development program Almaty . ” Youth committees have been set up under the trade union committees in the trade union organizations of the city, with purpose of working with young workers in the field of social support for young people when they are involved in labor activities. Work with young people is to be continued.

In his turn, the chairman of the Trade Unions’ Territorial Association of  Almaty region, Aset Kydyrmanov noted that in 2018 , the ‘Tatulas Ortaligy’ Conciliation Center was opened in Taldykorgan. To date, 337 people have received assistance on various issues. In addition, he emphasized that in 2018 72.3% out of more than 13 thousand registered enterprises were covered by collective agreements. Furthermore, Kydyrmanov noted that in the framework of the Safe Work program, aimed at ensuring occupational safety and health, there has been a decrease in the number of injuries of workers. Comparing to 2017,  when 46 injuries occurred,  in 2018 the number declined to 41.

In his speech, S.Orazbekov, the head of the labor relations control department, the state labor inspector of  State Labor and Migration Inspection Administration Almaty, indicated that in 2018, 682 unscheduled inspections were conducted in Almaty. In the course of inspections, 703 various kinds of violations of labor legislation were revealed, 349 orders were issued to eliminate violations of the law. 266 legal entities were prosecuted. At 409 enterprises of the city, wage arrears in the amount of 474.9 million tenge were repaid, which contributed to the protection of the rights of 3015 employees. 187 heads of organizations were brought to administrative responsibility in the amount of 34.9 million tenge for overdued payment of wages to their employees.

In addition,  S.Orazbekov stressed that in 2018, The State Labor and Migration Inspection Administration of Almaty together with the Trade Unions’ Territorial Association of  “Trade Union Center of Almaty” in the framework of social partnership conducted a significant work  in the following areas: 12436 collective agreements were concluded, coverage increased from 4% to 19%: Almaty takes the leading positions on this indicator; work within the framework of the Republican campaign “Conclude an employment contract!”, under which 963 employment contracts were concluded at 210 enterprises of the city.

Koshmambetov A.A., the deputy chairman on Legal Affairs of the Chamber of Entrepreneurs in Almaty, noted that if trade unions represent the interests of workers, the Chamber of Entrepreneurs speaks on behalf of employers and any issue can be resolved at the negotiating table by agreements of all parties of social partnership. However, the agreements should not contradict the Labor Code. The Chamber together with the trade unions conducts a large explanatory work among employers on the conclusion of individual labor and collective agreements.

In the speech of N. Askarbayev – Chairman of the PA “Kazakhstan Branch Trade Union of Railway, Automobile, Air and Water Transport Workers” in Almaty. It was noted that in 2018 there were 3 accidents at the railway enterprise of Almaty , three of which were fatal. Thanks to the joint work of the trade union and the employer, the families of the deceased workers were compensated in the amount of more than 18 million tenge. In addition, provision of vehicle, the hiring of an employee to look after a disabled person, or the payment of money to relatives who care for him are garanteed for persons (persons with disabilities), who were injured at work. Also, a mandatory medical examination of workers who have just started working at a certain enterprise was introduced. As a wish, N. Askarbayev pointed out the need for further organization of training for members of the conciliation committee, since all controversial issues that arise between employees and employers are resolved by the conciliation committees of an enterprise.

Abdykadyrov Sadyk Nursapanovich, the chairman of Taldykorgan territorial organization of the education and science workers’ branch trade union, noted that the organization’s activities in 2018 were based on the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan ‘On Trade Unions’, on the TUFRK and was aimed at solving the socio-economic problems of workers in the field and strengthening the trade union movement. Over the last year, union members sent 260 proposals to the working group on the development of the Draft Law “About teacher’s status”, which address the pressing problems of the workers in the field. Also, in 2018, a tripartite agreement was signed with the Department of Education, the Chamber of Entrepreneurs and the Taldykorgan territorial organization of the education and science workers’ trade union . To date, the labor inspectorate has registered about 10 contracts and 386 collective agreements.

Summing up the meeting’s results, B. Nurymbetov noted that over the past year, the territorial associations of Almaty and the Almaty region have done a lot of work. The Chairman of the Federation sets the task to declare 2019 to be the year of the regions. After all, all the questions, problems are to be solved within separate regions. The task of trade unions is to prevent disputes and conflicts, to solve problems of workers through interaction with social partners and individual disputes through Tatulas ortalygy. He pointed to the need to strengthen informational work through bringing information to citizens through social networks and mass media.