The Right to Create and Join Trade Unions

By the Law of RK “On Trade Unions” the right to create and join trade unions is provided to citizens. At the same time, the quantity of trade unions created within the boundaries of one profession is not limited. All trade unions are provided equal rights and opportunities.

There have been incidents of the hindrance of the creation and activities of trade unions on the side of employers. Thus, per data collected by the Atyrau branch of the trade union of construction workers and manufacturers of industrial construction materials, during the course of 2007 the creation of trade unions was opposed by managers of 16 enterprises, the majority of whom were conducting contractual work on the projects Tengizshevroil Ltd. and Adzhip KKO. The largest of the companies were Atyrau-Bolashak Ltd., Tengizstroiservis, Senimdi Kurylys, Khemimontazh, Pundzh Lloyd Kazakhstan, Iurest Reiteon Support Services, Saipen, Kaspian Vender Park, and others. In 2007, these organizations experienced collective labor conflicts and spontaneous actions of workers.

For suitable protection of the rights and interests of workers, not only is the creation of trade unions necessary, but also the entry of trade union organizations into the local union chapter. For example, in the course of 2007, under administrative pressure in Intergas of Central Asia Corp., (a chain of Kazmunaigaz) meetings were conducted and the creation of a trade union organization was concluded which includes approximately 6,000 gas transport workers. The first talks regarding their invitation to join the local branch of the state trade union of gas transport workers have so far led to nothing. The management of the newly created trade union, being fully independent from administration, is discussing creating its own union branch, although there is the provision in the Charter for joining a higher trade union organization. The situation complicates itself when new trade union organizations come under the control of their employer’s management, which gives birth to “pocket” trade unions. These types of trade unions leave workers without the conditions and benefits provided for in wage agreements.

Locally, difficulties in concluding collective agreements are also observed.

Per statistics from the state branch of geology, geodesy, and cartography workers’ trade union, in 26 organizations through the fault of administration collective agreements have not been concluded, and trade unions are practically dismissed. There have been instances of the interference of employers in the activities of trade unions. Thus, in Volkov Corp. in Almaty, trade union organizations were accused by their employers of the violation of the use of union dues. In response, the administration of the corporation dissolved the trade union organization.

Circumstances Leading to New Measures