On Wednesday, March 2, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin took part in an expanded meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MLSPP).
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yeraly Tugzhanov, it was also attended by deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Agency for Strategic Planning and Reforms, central government agencies, deputy akims of regions and cities of republican significance, NCE “Atameken”, international organizations, NGOs.
Speaking to the participants of the meeting, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin outlined the position of trade unions on the current challenges of the labor market in Kazakhstan. According to him, one of the pressing issues today remains “stagnation of wages and a decrease in labor income.” Among the reasons for the negative dynamics of incomes of the population, the Chairman of the FTURK called the unwillingness of employers to changes taking place in the labor sphere in today’s difficult economic conditions.
“Employers often deviate from the norms of labor legislation in order to minimize their expenses for hired labor, acting not in the interests of the employee, who is the least protected party of labor relations. Reliance on cheap labor seems to companies to be a more realistic basis for the development of their business than increasing labor productivity based on the change of technologies, the introduction of new equipment. This refers to those enterprises where wages do not exceed the average salary in the economy. Simply put, they do not want to make large capital investments when there is cheap labor,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.
According to the head of the Federation of Trade Unions, the sphere of remuneration in Kazakhstan today raises many questions.
“The existing wage system, with “abnormal” parameters of its level and differentiation by types of economic activity, business entities, professional qualification groups, destroys economic relations and distorts social interdependencies, slows down economic growth. It is urgently necessary to update the basic wage institutions: labor standards, a single tariff grid, professional standards, and a methodology for setting the minimum wage. The low level of minimum wage guarantees provoke the strengthening of the dictate of employers in this matter and significantly complicate the realization of the rights of workers to a decent wage,” the head of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan said.
Satybaldy Dauletalin stressed that in order to maintain the manageability of the socio-political situation in the country, it is necessary to systematically achieve the quality of labor relations and, above all, decent wages.
“Cheap labor destroys the economy. It is an absurd existence when people have to “spin” outside of the working day to feed their family. It’s time for all of us to understand that decent human labor cannot be “cheap”! Undervalued work creates poverty in the heads. As a result, social and economic insecurity creates a sense of anxiety and despair among many ordinary workers who take the most extreme and spontaneous measures to protect their rights and interests of their families. With this attitude, it is impossible to constructively overcome the crisis phenomena and build a New Kazakhstan,” says Satybaldy Dauletalin.
According to the Chairman of the FTURK, the situation in the social and labor sphere requires an immediate turn towards the man of labor. Today, the creation of a civilized labor market is equally important for both the state authorities and the trade union movement. Not the endless “patching of holes”, not the search for temporary compromises and minimal compensation, but the solution of the strategic problem of the formation of the modern labor market.
“In our opinion, figuratively speaking, it is necessary to sign a new employment contract with a Kazakhstani employee. The “old” employment contract, which has been in force for the last thirty years, has exhausted itself, it does not increase the income of employees, does not develop the economy. Serious changes are needed in the social and economic policy of the state aimed at increasing the incomes of workers. These changes should give the employee (and, accordingly, the trade union organization) the right to enter into a labor dispute with the employer and freely carry out, including strikes without the current bureaucratic procedure, logically supplementing the current system of social dialogue. The bottom line is that employees need income growth and the opportunity to sort out relations with their employer in the legal field. And this is not just about reducing social tension in the country. It is about restoring social justice, and employees’ trust in the employer and the state,” stressed Satybaldy Dauletalin.
Today, the Chairman of the FTURK handed over to the Government a package of proposals from trade unions for the further development of social and labor relations in the country.
Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan