The Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights this 2018 is awarded to the Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, represented by Larisa Kharkova, Nurbek Kushakbaev and Amin Eleusinov. Trade Union leaders and activists of Kazakhstan face severe repression in due to their involvement with trade unions rights, and the rights of the working people in their country.

Ships flying flags of convenience are the frequent visitors at the Port of Nakhodka. But only few of them have the ITF collective agreement securing social and labour rights of seafarers.

In the mid-20th century, freedom of association was internationally recognized as a basic human right and a fundamental principle of the International Labour Organization. Laws making it mandatory for employers to recognize workers’ unions and negotiate with them were perhaps the key factor in advancing employer-employee dialogue and decreasing violent trade conflicts. Today, workers’ rights to form trade unions and to engage in collective bargaining are rarely challenged openly but often ignored in practice. Just as before, employees trying to exercise this right are likely to face government pressure, legal barriers of all types and retaliation ranging from dismissals to physical attacks.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) are calling on the European Commission to take up concerns about Kazakhstan’s violations of freedom of association during a meeting of the EU—Kazakhstan Cooperation Council meeting on 26 February.

The procedure for issuing the entry permits to Russian ports for trade unionists should be as simple as possible, said Nikolai Sukhanov, the Chairman of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers’ Union of Russia (SUR FETO).

IndustriALL Global Union affiliates in Russia issued a joint statement against the dissolution of the Interregional Trade Union “Workers Association” (ITUWA). The Russian trade union centres the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR), IndustriALL affiliates in the CIS region and global unions strongly oppose the court decision to dissolve ITUWA.

The ITUC has denounced the decision of a local court in St Petersburg to dissolve a trade union on the grounds that it engaged in political activities.

IndustriALL Global Union strongly contests a court verdict to dissolve its Russian affiliate, the Interregional Trade Union Workers’ Association (ITUWA) for their alleged involvement in political activities and international work.

The Russian authorities are using “foreign agent” legislation against MPRA, the closest thing Russia has to an independent trade union. 

The Statement of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR) on liquidation of the Inter-Regional Trade Union “Workers’ Association” (MPRA), affiliated to KTR and IndustriALL Global Union. On December 10, a city court in St. Petersburg decided a liquidation of the MPRA.

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