28 March 2018: On 26-27 of March in Moscow was organized the fourth conference “Freedom of Association and the rights of trade unions in the Russian Federation: the state and prospects.” The conference was organized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Russian Labor Confederation (KTR), and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR).
Participants of the conference discussed the increasing frequency of violations of trade union rights in recent years and the possibilities of national and international mechanisms for their protection. In the Conference took part leaders of the Russian trade union centers KTR and FNPR and their branch trade unions, representatives of the ITUC, trade union centers of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, ILO experts, representatives of Russian state bodies.
Particular attention during the conference was paid to judicial decisions on the liquidation of the Interregional Trade Union Workers Association (ITUWA) and the Siberian territorial organization of the Federal Trade Union of Air Traffic Controllers of Russia (FAPD), the arrests of trade union leaders, pressures, including by law enforcement agencies, on trade unions and trade union activists, the prohibition of strikes and restrictions on the right to collective bargaining, discrimination on the basis of trade union membership.
In addition, serious attention was paid to the situation in Kazakhstan and Belarus. In Kazakhstan, the authorities forcibly liquidated the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CNTUC) and its affiliated organizations, the three leaders of the CNTUC – Larisa Kharkova, Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Yeleusinov were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and restriction of freedom. Criminal cases have been opened in Belarus against a number of leaders of the affiliated organizations of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP).
The participants of the conference stated that they consider that it is necessary to seek the abolition of unlawful court decisions and confirmation of guarantees of trade union rights; full implementation of the provisions of ILO Conventions No. 87 (on Freedom of Association), No. 98 (on the right to organize and conclude collective agreements), No. 135 (on the protection of workers’ representatives in the enterprise) at the level of legislation and at the level of law enforcement practice. As well should be strengthened liability for violation of legislation in the field of trade union rights, primarily for discrimination on the basis of trade union membership.