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Foreign experts about the outcome of the International Conference «The role of trade unions in ensuring citizens» rights to decent working conditions: the experience of Uzbekistan»

On April 22-23, 2015 Tashkent hosted an international conference on the topic: “The role of trade unions in ensuring citizens’ rights to decent working conditions: the experience of Uzbekistan”.

The event was organized by the Council of Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan jointly with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Justice, the Independent Institute for monitoring the formation of civil society, the National Association of NGOs of Uzbekistan and foreign partners – United Nations Development Programme, the International Labour Organization, Fund named after Friedrich Ebert (Germany).

The conference was attended by delegations from the International Labour Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation, heads of international organizations accredited in Uzbekistan (UNDP, EU, OSCE, UNICEF), managers and specialists from Germany, Denmark, China, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Russia, France, deputies of the Legislative Chamber and Senate of Oliy Majlis, representatives of state and public organizations, mass media.

The international conference was held to present the experience of Uzbekistan and foreign countries in the development and implementation of measures to ensure the protection of the rights of citizens decent working conditions and to develop proposals for the further promotion of “Decent work conception”, adopted by the International Labour Organization.

At the forum, participants got acquainted with the achievements of our country in the field of employment, the expansion of social protection of citizens, ensuring effective control at work, improvement of constructive social dialogue between government, employers and trade unions. They have also heard information on the opportunities provided by trade unions of Uzbekistan to carry out their functions to guarantee workers’ rights for decent working conditions.

At the event, noted that implemented in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Islam Karimov, a strong social policy is an important factor in the creation of decent working conditions for citizens and the development of social protection systems, provide the results measures taken by the trade unions for the protection of the socio-economic interests and labor rights of workers and members of their families.

It was underlined that the labor legislation of Uzbekistan and guarantee citizens’ rights to decent working conditions fully comply with international labor standards, and a number of indicators even ahead of them. In particular, fully provided with the labor rights of citizens and the right to a decent wage. The enterprises, organizations and institutions on the basis of collective agreements, to be signed between the trade union committees and employers, work is carried out to promote employment, the creation of comfortable and safe working conditions for organized new jobs and ensure the rights of workers for decent working conditions, the provision of additional benefits and guarantees, retraining.

Representatives of international organizations stressed that in Uzbekistan initiated a constructive social dialogue between the government, unions and employers serves to strengthen social protection of workers. It was stated that in our country has accumulated rich experience in the implementation of public control in the sphere of labor, trade unions are given broad powers to ensure that the rights of workers to decent working conditions and their results.

In particular, the Deputy General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Jaap Wienen said that currently the ITUC cooperates with the Federation of Trade Unions, which demonstrates their genuine interest in the implementation and further improvement of the legal framework of the republic in the sphere of protection and promotion of standards of decent work.

– ITUC in turn seeks a constructive dialogue with the organization, carrying out joint activities, – he said. – Experts of the Federation of Trade Unions participate in various international seminars and meetings on the subject. I hope that the outcome of these fruitful relations would be joining the Federation of the International Confederation of Trade Unions, since these two structures share a common goal – to protect and ensure the rights of the working population.

Chief Specialist of the ILO Sergejus Glovatskas noted that a good tradition to hold such events annually. In Uzbekistan, in addition to international conferences are regularly held “round tables”, seminars, briefings on the social protection of the population and the introduction of legislation in the country’s standards to ensure decent work.

– This conference brings logical outcome progress over the past year of intense collaboration of Uzbekistan and the International Labour Organization, – says S.Glovatskas. – In particular, an important event was the signing between your country and the ILO’s “Decent Work Programme in the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2014-2016 years”.

S.Glovatskas also said that will continue active cooperation with the Federation of Trade Unions in the implementation of various joint projects aimed at the development and deepening of cooperation. First of all – this is the work of the country programs for decent work. It is planned to assist in raising the awareness of workers about their rights, the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its implementation. According to him, the experience of Uzbekistan in ensuring citizens’ rights to decent conditions of work must be extended to the entire region of Central Asia.

According to a senior specialist of the European Department of the ILO Bureau for Workers ‘Activities Wolfgang Lutterbach experience of Uzbekistan in the field of workers’ rights is interesting and worth exploring. For the union activists from foreign countries this international forum was an opportunity to share their experiences, which is especially important given the fact that many countries are experiencing the effects of the global financial and economic crisis.

– There is a lot of useful in the General Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers, the Council of Federation of Trade Unions and the Chamber of Commerce on socio-economic issues in the years 2014-2016, – said W.Lutterbach. – The relationship between workers and employers are regulated, with clear mechanisms to establish an effective public control over the implementation of local acts. Such social dialogue enables the positive and effective resolution of all issues in the social and labor field.

According to the senior advisor to the Pan-European Regional Council of Trade Unions Anton Leppik, the role of social partners in ensuring the rights to decent working conditions is great. Social dialogue – the need to consult with social partners on social and economic issues. These consultations, and the highest form – collective bargaining contribute to representing the interests of workers and employers. Uzbekistan gained experience in social dialogue testifies to the democratic decision-making and effective control over their implementation.

– Special attention should be working to improve labor legislation in Uzbekistan, – said the representative of the General Confederation of Labour of France Pierre Kutaz. – It is noteworthy that the number of trade union movement in Uzbekistan – more than 6 million people. In France, trade union membership is small. I’m very impressed by the fact that the head of a mass social organization as the Council of Federation of Trade Unions, is a woman. Despite the fact that the General Confederation of Labour of France – one of the oldest organizations defending the rights of workers in our country, and there are more than a century, we are still not able to achieve this.

It is important that Uzbekistan declares supporting young people as one of the main priorities of its policy. It is necessary to pay special attention to vulnerable groups of the population, to promote employment, decent wages, legal and social protection of workers, to give them benefits.

A spokesman for the production of trade union IG Metal (Germany) Marlies Brigitte Daane believes that such events allow you to set effective bridges of cooperation between trade unions in different countries.

He expressed the view that Uzbekistan achieved great progress in the protection of the socio-economic and labor rights of workers. In Germany, collective bargaining is conducted directly between the employers and the workers themselves, whose interests are represented by trade unions, without the participation of the state.

– Uzbekistan’s experience shows that addressing issues in the workplace has greatly assisted the state. This has a positive effect on the further development of the work in this direction, – he said.