On Friday, February 24, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin held a meeting with trade union candidates for elected bodies of the country. The meeting with candidates from all regions of the country was held via videoconference.

Addressing his colleagues, the Chairman of the FPRC recalled the main priorities of the election platform “Trade Unions for Justice!”, which incorporated 15 steps towards a Social state.

“Trade unions, as representatives of workers, cannot stay away from important political events in the country. At the General Council, we made a single decision to nominate our candidates for the elections of deputies to the Majilis and maslikhats of all levels. The interests of the Kazakhstani employee should not only be heard, but also implemented. Trade unions must have their say, otherwise the exploitation of Kazakhstani workers by the owners will continue. In their platform, the trade unions reflected the basic values associated primarily with the interests of workers,” the Chairman of the FPRC stressed.

In total, 478 candidates from different industries and regions of the country are running for the upcoming elections from the Federation of Trade Unions, including 13 candidates for the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.  Election headquarters have been set up at the republican level and in all regions, which are actively campaigning.

According to the Head of the Federation, many points of the trade union platform were included in the election platform of the Amanat party and echo the programs of the People’s Party of Kazakhstan.

The election platform of the trade unions clearly outlines the basic principle – justice everywhere and for every Person at work.

“The state and business are obliged to respect the employee as a citizen and as an honest worker. Only a person of labor is the only source of welfare of society,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.

The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions called on all trade union candidates to actively explain the goals and values of building a Fair Kazakhstan through ensuring a fair economy, fair labor relations, decent work and decent wages.

First of all, the Federation of Trade Unions advocates raising the minimum wage at least twice in accordance with international standards.

“For employees receiving a salary in the amount of the minimum wage, the tax on individual income tax will be abolished, as it was before, after which this deduction was veiled with a fixed rate from the minimum calculated indicator in order to “fill” the budget at the expense of labor income, and not the super profits of the oligarchs. We will finally achieve the ratification of the International Labour Organization Convention No. 131 “On the establishment of a minimum wage with special consideration for Developing countries,” the Chairman of the FPRC said.

In order to reduce the number of low-income workers, the trade unions intend to seek a legislative limitation of the gap between the salaries of high-paid and low-paid workers in the amount of no more than 10 times.

A separate point of the platform provides for the creation of a legislative mechanism for the annual indexation of wages not lower than the inflation rate for low-paid workers.

Among the most important intentions of the Federation is to oblige the employer to pay an employee an honest salary for an eight–hour working day, excluding overtime, overtime and combining positions.

It was also noted the need to establish the right of employees to suspend work in cases of delayed payment of wages for more than 15 days.

“Salary debts will be paid first of all by writing off the employer’s funds, and responsibility for salary debts will be paid to the entire property of the owner of the enterprise,” Satybaldy Dauletalin said.

Along with this, it is planned to provide trade union organizations with access to real enterprise management mechanisms and ensure that the employer cannot hide the amount of salaries, referring to the legislation on the protection of trade secrets.

The platform provides for measures to strengthen public and state control of the labor market, excluding shadow labor relations – a source of unfair competition in the labor market.

One of the important steps towards fairness is the payment of dividends to shareholders only after an increase in employees’ salaries.

“The profit received by the owner of the enterprise is the result of the work of employees. And when the company makes a profit, it will be a fair decision to increase the wages of a Person of labor, and only then the owner can count on dividends,” the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions believes.

In order to establish a uniform wage system, trade unions set the task of moving from the basic official salary to the minimum wage in the wage system for public sector employees.

An equally urgent issue is the reduction of the retirement age for workers engaged in hard work, work with harmful and dangerous working conditions and ensuring annual indexation of pensions in an amount not lower than the inflation rate.

The interests of young people were not ignored either. The trade union platform provides for the establishment of a scholarship not lower than the subsistence minimum and ensuring its payment to all students with good and excellent academic results.

The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions announced measures to improve the system of social partnership.

“We will adopt the law “On Social Partnership”, revive the values and significance of the participation of all parties of social partnership in the development and implementation of socio-economic policy of the state. We will strengthen the role of the Republican, sectoral and regional tripartite commissions on Social partnership in developing the socio-economic course of the country’s development and regulating labor relations. The decisions of the trilateral commissions at all levels will become mandatory for implementation”,- noted Satybaldy Dauletalin.

The Federation of Trade Unions also aims to achieve the adoption of a National Action Plan for the modernization and re-equipment of production facilities by replacing old technologies, machinery and equipment and creating high-quality jobs with decent working conditions.

Another important task to be solved by the trade union community is the legislative consolidation of the norm that only trade unions are the only legal representatives of employees.

The implementation of all these steps, as stressed by Satybaldy Dauletalin, will qualitatively increase the incomes of workers, reduce social tension, and provide an opportunity for the development of Kazakhstani enterprises.

“A person of labor will receive a decent workplace and a decent salary. To achieve this, trade union representatives go to the polls. In our ranks are those who are known by labor collectives, those who have already established themselves as defenders of the world of work,” he said.

In addition, Satybaldy Dauletalin reminded that the platform should not become empty promises, but become a real guide to action.

The Chairman of the FPRC instructed the members of the election headquarters to strictly monitor compliance with the electoral legislation and to fully support the trade union candidates.

In turn, the participants of the meeting thanked the leadership of the Federation of Trade Unions for the presented program that meets the needs and aspirations of ordinary workers.