ituc urges kazakhstan to drop sanctions and foster social dialogue for striking workers rights
In a recent letter to the President of Kazakhstan, Luc Triangle, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), called for the removal of all sanctions imposed on striking workers. The ITUC emphasized the need for a resolution to the ongoing labor dispute through social dialogue, aligning with the principle of freedom of association.
The dispute involves approximately 500 workers affiliated with the Industry Trade Union of Fuel and Energy Complex Workers, who initiated a strike at West Oil Software on December 11, 2023, as part of an existing disagreement. However, a local court swiftly declared the strike illegal on the same day, with no representation from trade unions.
After the workers went on strike, they and their families faced threats from both the company and local authorities. When they tried to challenge the court’s decision against their strike, their appeal was rejected.
Luc Triangle pointed out that disputes between workers and companies are common in the oil and gas industry in Western Kazakhstan. This is mainly because many tasks are given to subcontractors and outsourcing companies. He was worried that the treatment of these workers goes against the promises Kazakhstan made to the International Labour Organization (ILO). It has created an environment where workers feel scared and unsure.
The General Secretary asked the Kazakh government to support the rights of workers to create unions and go on strikes, following the agreements they made with the ILO. respecting basic human rights. The ITUC’s demand to remove sanctions and promote talking is a reminder of how important it is to have fair work conditions and stick to global standards to solve this problem.
He mentioned that the ILO Committee has criticized Kazakhstan multiple times for making laws that treat striking workers as criminals. Triangle finished by saying that the government should encourage talks between workers and employers, fair negotiations, and the right to form groups.He cautioned that if the government keeps treating striking workers as criminals and doesn’t do anything about companies firing them as punishment, it shows a choice for oppression over.