On January 19-20 of this year, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin, as part of a delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Altai Kulginov, visited the Mangystau region on a working trip. During the visit to the region, topical issues of the social and labor sphere were considered.
According to the plan adopted in the Mangystau region for 2022-2025, the implementation of 84 investment projects and the creation of 4.3 thousand new jobs is envisaged. More than 600 people have already been employed within the framework of 15 projects. 1,200 new jobs will be created this year.
At a meeting in the akimat of the Mangystau region, the head of the region, Nurlan Nogaev, spoke about the situation in the economic, social and labor sphere and about the joint actions of social partners to prevent labor conflicts at the enterprises of the region.
Meanwhile, according to the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in 2022, out of 85 labor conflicts recorded in the country, 35 occurred in the Mangystau region, while most labor conflicts occurred at enterprises where there are no trade unions.
As the Chairman of the FTURK Satybaldy Dauletalin noted during the meeting, the main “drivers” of conflicts were: low wages, deterioration of working conditions, violation of workers’ rights and unwillingness of employers to engage in dialogue with employees.
“The Federation of Trade Unions took part in all negotiation processes to resolve labor conflicts, despite the absence or presence of trade unions at enterprises. The participation of trade unions led to more meaningful negotiations, a reduction in the duration of conflicts, and an early agreement. According to trade union activists, the problem lies in the fact that in the vast majority of situations it is the employer’s side that is not ready for social dialogue – neither economically nor psychologically,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.
The Chairman of the FTURK, based on the experience of the participation of representatives of the Federation in the resolution of labor disputes, also noted that there are many more cases of compromise and constructive solutions and agreements through negotiations than strikes.
“In fact, trade unions are not a conductor of protest activity, especially such a form of it as a strike or a work stoppage. The real problem lies elsewhere. In practice, the uncontrolled power of employers over employees manifests itself in making unfair unilateral decisions: these are understatement of wages, preservation of poor working conditions, lack of payments for work on weekends and holidays, delays in payment of wages, humiliation and rude treatment of employees. And such injustice is perceived painfully by employees and becomes a cause of social discontent,” the Chairman of the FTURK continued.
According to Satybalda Dauletalin, the peculiarity of the Mangystau region as an oil region is also the unevenness in the remuneration system between oil producers and service companies serving them, between subsidiaries of JSC NC “KazMunayGas”, which uses its own Unified Remuneration System (URS) and private companies, where URS is not applied.
Based on the current situation, the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions proposed a number of preventive measures for joint actions of social partners.
“In the economy: mass creation of productive permanent jobs and mass demand for labor, improvement of labor and industrial relations; in the judicial system: increasing the competence of judges on labor relations, the creation of labor dispute panels in higher courts; in public administration: state support of trade unions at all levels in terms of strengthening public control mechanisms, the expansion of the powers and the number of the state labor inspectorate; in legislative regulation: the expansion of industrial democracy, the realization of the right of employees to participate in the management of the enterprise”, – listed Satybaldy Dauletalin.
In addition, the Federation believes that it is necessary to introduce the responsibility of employers for evading participation in conciliation procedures, and the implementation of the agreement reached during negotiations, as well as to form a Register of bona fide employers.
The resolution of collective labor disputes in the regions, according to Satybalda Dauletalin, is a matter of responsibility of two parties: employees and the employer, and in no way is the responsibility of the state, in this case the akim.
“Therefore, society needs strong trade unions capable of protecting the interests of workers. And in order for trade unions to become full-fledged subjects of social and labor relations, not only the trade unions themselves, but also state bodies, political parties and other public institutions should be interested. The possibilities of a dialogue between trade unions and the authorities allow us to prevent non–systemic social explosions and conflicts, tame the effect of the “street”, and return to ordinary people a sense of confidence in their constitutional rights and freedoms,” the Chairman of the FTURK added.
Following the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Altai Kulginov called on all parties of the social partnership to increase the pace of cooperation to prevent labor disputes, and also instructed the akimat of the region to continue creating permanent jobs in the region, and pay special attention to youth employment.
Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan