Ukraine: ETUCE and EPSU show solidarity with trade unions resisting unfair new labour law


Harsh reforms could push many into precarious work and undermine trade union rights. The government did not negotiate with trade unions before releasing the draft labour laws, so trade unions have now announced a protest campaign rejecting the proposals. ETUCE and the European Public Service Union stand alongside unions in Ukraine and we send solidarity to people working in education.

The proposed reforms could be a major change in Ukrainian labour law, leaving workers exposed to exploitation and instability. Employers would gain near total freedom to fire employees or change the terms of their contract. Short-term and zero-hours contracts would be promoted, and overtime pay would be drastically reduced.

The changes could also weaken trade unions and social dialogue. Limits on the number of trade unions in a workplace, a higher threshold of staff numbers to establish a workplace union, and state confiscation of union property will all prevent trade unions playing their vital role. The government did not consult with trade unions about the proposals – circumventing national rules – and only shared the text 90 minutes before the government approved it.

In their joint letter to the Ukranian President, Prime Minister and other leaders ETUCE and EPSU express their “indignation and concern” about these proposals and the impact they would have on social dialogue in Ukraine. We demand that the draft reforms be withdrawn and any formal hearings in the Verkhovna Rada should be postponed. ETUCE and EPSU continue closely monitoring the situation and support their member organisations in their fight for social dialogue and respect for trade union rights in Ukraine.