A meeting of the General Council of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan was held in Astana today, during which the results of the Federation’s work over the past year, held under the auspices of the Year of Social Partnership, were summed up, as well as new tasks were identified.
The main results of the Federation’s work were announced before the General Council by the Chairman of the FPRK Satybaldy Dauletalin.
“The year 2022 was held by the Federation of Trade Unions under the auspices of the Year of Social Partnership. We have made our contribution to political transformations in the country: our member organizations have carried out large-scale information and explanatory work on holding a referendum on amendments to the Constitution of the country, and as part of the People’s Coalition we supported the candidacy of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in the presidential elections of the Republic of Kazakhstan. We were able to influence the course of social and labor relations in the country. We have restored full membership in the International Trade Union Confederation. We have accepted the chairmanship of the Council of Trade Unions of Central Asian Countries,” stressed Satybaldy Dauletalin.
The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions noted that the social partnership system is functioning today thanks to the initiatives of trade unions.
“In 2022, we managed to influence the adoption of important decisions by the state – on behalf of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a program was adopted to increase the incomes of the population, the minimum wage was increased and will continue to grow. A long-standing trade union initiative has been launched to develop a methodology for determining the minimum wage, including its indexation. I would like to emphasize that the implementation of the initiative of trade unions to increase the size of the minimum wage has become a reality precisely because the President publicly and unequivocally supported our position. All this indicates that we are being heard and listened to. And we must continue to act,” the Head of the Federation of Trade Unions urged his colleagues.
To improve the effectiveness of the work of the tripartite commissions on social partnership, last year the FPRC initiated proposals that found the support of the President of the country and the Republican Tripartite Commission on Social Partnership: regional tripartite commissions were headed by akims; the practice of co-chairmanship of all parties of the social partnership was introduced; meetings are held at trade union sites and in a visiting format.
“At the suggestion of the Federation of Trade Unions, amendments were made to regional agreements in 13 regions regarding the issues of annual wage indexation, reduction of occupational injuries, prevention and prevention of social and labor conflicts, additional payments to technical inspectors for labor protection,” Satybaldy Dauletalin listed.
In the past year, 2 meetings of the Republican Trilateral Commission, 217 meetings of regional commissions were held, of which 19 were held at the sites of regional Trade union centers.
As for collective agreements, today there are more than 16 thousand collective agreements in trade union organizations, which is more than 97% of the enterprises where trade unions operate. The number of existing collective agreements in the republic in 2022 increased by 9.3% compared to 2021 from 153,934 to 168,391.
The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions set the task to strengthen work in the field of collective bargaining regulation.
“In total, only 5.1% of the country’s organizations are covered by trade union membership. These indicators reflect the high potential for the work of member organizations of the Federation of Trade Unions to attract new trade union members and conclude collective agreements. We need to improve the quality of collective bargaining and launch a fight for sustainable income. The collective bargaining campaign of 2023 should be aimed at realizing the right to wage negotiations and ensuring safe working conditions. The success of such negotiations will be an agreement with the employer to increase wages and reduce occupational injuries,” the Head of the FPRK emphasized to his colleagues.
Speaking about the near-term development of social partnership, Satybaldy Dauletalin noted that the Federation is taking the initiative to raise the status of the republican trilateral commission, whose decisions should not be advisory, but binding for everyone. In addition, at the initiative of the Federation of Trade Unions, a working group on consultations on the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 131 was established at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which included representatives of trade unions.
The Federation also takes an active part in the work on 35 draft laws, including amendments to the Labor Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Law “On Minimum Social Standards”, as well as the development of the draft Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Social Partnership”.
“The adoption of a separate Law will contribute to the development of an organizational culture of partnerships, a mechanism for self-development of social dialogue processes, the development of new forms of decision–making on social, labor and related economic issues,” the Chairman of the FPRC noted.
According to Satybalda Dauletalin, the level of occupational injuries in Kazakhstan continues to be high.
According to regional trade union centers, as of January 1, 2023, 1,232 industrial accidents were registered, as a result of which 1,465 people were injured: 203 of them were fatal, 897 were severe and 365 were mild.
The largest number of victims in the Karaganda and East Kazakhstan regions, with a fatal outcome in the Karaganda and Kostanay regions.
The causes of occupational injuries, as emphasized by the Chairman of the FPRC, remain unsatisfactory organization of work, failure to ensure safe working conditions, etc.
Accidents continue to occur, in which 100% of the employer’s fault is established.
“We, together with social partners, continue to work on the implementation of the Action Plan to ensure Safe work in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025. During the reporting year, we made proposals to improve the status and powers of technical inspectors for labor protection, increase the number of state labor inspectors and transfer their powers from akimats to the Ministry of Labor. I would like to note that our proposals are reflected in the “Action Plan for ensuring safe work in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025” and in the “Concept of safe work until 2030”, – said the Chairman of the FPRC.
The members of the General Council unanimously supported the proposal of Satybalda Dauletalin to declare 2023 the “Year of Safe Work”.
The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan made a special emphasis on the prevention of labor conflicts, the reasons for which he called the low level of income, the deterioration of the standard of living of workers, the lack of decent working conditions.
Since last year, the Federation of Trade Unions has recorded 85 labor conflicts.
“Most labor conflicts occur in those enterprises where there are no trade unions. Thus, out of 85 enterprises, only 41 have trade union organizations. FPRK carries out daily monitoring of the state of social tension in the regions, maintains a Map of labor risks, implements the institute “Enbek elshisi”, conducts the action “Labor Consultations”. The participation of our trade unions in all negotiation processes has led to more meaningful negotiations, shortening the duration of conflicts, and reaching an agreement as soon as possible,” stressed Satybaldy Dauletalin.
He also recalled that within the framework of the social partnership, the FPRK participates in the implementation of the Government’s Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Resolution of Labor Conflicts, the Algorithm of Joint Actions of social partners for the Prevention and Resolution of Labor Conflicts, and also participates in the work of the Situation Center at the Ministry of Labor. However, the Federation of Trade Unions intends to appeal to the President of the country with an initiative to lift the moratorium on business inspections.
“In order to prevent violations of workers’ rights and ensure proper safe working conditions, we intend to appeal to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev with a request to lift the moratorium on inspections of enterprises in terms of compliance with labor legislation,” the Chairman of the FPRK stressed.
Along with this, proposals of the Federation of Trade Unions have been sent to the Government to simplify the procedures for making demands by employees and to tighten the responsibility of employers for refusing to negotiate with the labor collective.
These proposals are included in the Roadmap for the consideration of problematic issues at oilfield service enterprises of the country.
Keeping abreast of the problematic issues of ordinary workers helps the action “How do you live, primary?”, initiated by the Federation two years ago.
Last year, the FPRC and its member organizations held 829 meetings with primary trade union organizations with the participation of 23,083 trade union members. Of the 611 problematic issues voiced at the meetings, 388 were resolved positively, 212 are under the control of the Federation and industry trade unions.
“From my experience, I note that feedback from trade union members on the ground allows us to respond promptly to every alarm signal,” the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan believes.
Feedback from the Federation and its member organizations has also been established through Public Reception Rooms and Reconciliation Centers in the structure of the FPRK Legal Clinic.
Last year, 5,820 appeals were considered in Yurkliniki, 67% of them on issues of absence of an employment contract and non-payment of wages.
As noted by Satybaldy Dauletalin, in human rights activities, as in other areas, the Federation of Trade Unions relies on the experience of its international partners.
“2022 was a breakthrough year for the Federation of Trade Unions in the international arena. The painstaking work of the leadership of the Federation and its member organizations brought the expected results – in November 2022, within the framework of the V Congress of the ITUC, at a meeting of the General Council, it was decided to restore the membership of the FPRC in the International Trade Union Confederation. In September 2022, at the second meeting of the Council of Trade Unions of Central Asian countries, the chairmanship of the Council in 2023 was transferred to the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan recalled.
Meanwhile, the issue of promoting trade union ideology remains relevant in the activities of the Federation of Trade Unions.
The Chairman of the FPRC identified four areas – professional asset training, image positioning, gender and youth policy.
In 2022, 440 training seminars were held covering 32,157 trade union members, the projects “Educational Marathon”, “School of a trade union leader” were implemented.
Satybaly Dauletalin called for special attention to be paid to the development of trade union gender policy and the promotion of youth activists of trade unions.
The Keleshek Youth Council is the initiator of a number of projects and events. Thus, within the framework of the Council of Trade Unions of Central Asian Countries, a mini-football tournament was held in Tashkent with the participation of teams of trade unions of Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. And the first sub-regional youth forum is planned for this year.
The head of the FPRC also noted the importance of information support for the activities of trade unions. Last year, the Federation of Trade Unions launched the Kasipodaq Media video studio, which implements a number of video projects on the FPRK Youtube channel.
Summarizing his speech, Satybaldy Dauletalin set a number of main tasks for the trade union community for 2023.
“This year we should start working on the draft of a new General Agreement for 2024-2026. Within the framework of the Year of Safe Work, ensure the implementation of the Action Plan to Ensure Safe Work in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025, and further implementation of the project “People’s Control” at enterprises and joining the Concept of zero Injuries “Vision Zero”. Trade unions should take a direct part in the electoral campaign for the election of deputies of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to get trade union representation in the Chamber and lobby for the interests of the Labor Man,” the Head of the FPRK instructed.
The members of the General Council unanimously adopted the Concept of Trade Union Training aimed at improving the efficiency of the system of professional development of trade union personnel.
The Federation’s budget for 2023 was also approved and, according to the Charter of the FPRC, the rotation of members of the General Council and the Executive Committee of the FPRC was approved.
Concluding the work of the General Council, the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan stressed that all the successes achieved last year were the result of the cohesive work of all member organizations of the FPRC.
“The last few years after the 26th Congress have shown how true and justified our slogan is – “In unity to justice and development”! By uniting in our actions, we will be able to promote the interests of not only about two million members of our trade unions, but also all workers of Kazakhstan,” concluded Satybaldy Dauletalin.