Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 14:04 GMT

2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Kyrgyzstan

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 9 June 2010
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Kyrgyzstan, 9 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c4fec6e28.html [accessed 17 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Population: 5,500,000
Capital: Bishkek
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

Once again, the government brutally interfered with trade union elections. Union activities are often hampered in private companies. There are areas of concern in the labour legislation.

Trade union rights in law

The current Labour Code is designed to attract foreign investors more than to protect workers' rights, although basic trade union rights are recognised. All workers have the right to form and belong to trade unions, and the law protects union members from anti-union discrimination. While workers can, in case of industrial disputes and following mediation and conciliation procedures, request the government to defend their legitimate rights and interests, such disputes should be settled by an independent body and not by the government. Amendments made in 2008 to the law on public assembly introduced a number of restrictions on the time and place of public meetings, and stipulated that permission would need to be obtained from the local authorities. While not directly aimed at unions, the amendments can still impair normal trade union activities. Strikes are prohibited in certain sectors, including public transportation, which should not be subject to a strike ban.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: Massive attacks on journalists marred the weeks leading up to the presidential elections of 23 July, when President Bakiyev was re-elected amidst many problems and irregularities in a vote that was sharply criticised by observers. Serious violations of the rights of migrant workers and refugees were reported by the International Federation for Human Rights. Gender discrimination, including violence against women, remains a major concern.

Union activities hampered: Some employers impede the work of trade unions by refusing to let union representatives enter companies in which their members are employed. In companies facing severe economic difficulties, management often threatens bankruptcy as a means of deterring trade union activity. Collective agreements are not always respected. Labour inspection is largely ineffective, and possible fines for trade union rights violations are merely token sums that do not promote compliance.

Government interference: In the 2009 edition of the Survey it was reported that, following judicial persecution and harassment of trade union leaders, a government protégé was "elected" as the head of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kyrgyzstan (FPKg). When the new president later decided to resign, there was a hope that FPKg could resume its path towards genuine trade unionism. However, just before the FPKg executive committee was scheduled to elect a new President, a brutal anti-union campaign was re-launched.

Officers of law enforcement agencies were permanently installed in FPKg offices, and trade union members eligible to vote were pressurised. On 17 September, just six days before the planned executive committee meeting, the Prosecutor-General suspended Temirbek Djanaliev from his post as First Vice-President and acting president of FPKg. Eventually, a former head of a major state company was elected as the FPKg president.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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