Uzbekistan: New Law on Trade Unions


On 7 March 2020, the New Law "On Trade Unions" came into force in Uzbekistan.

Among other things, the law includes:

  • Further development of rights and responsibilities of trade union organisations in accordance with the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation;
  • Greater opportunities for creating trade union organisations;
  • Simplification of the procedure for state registration of trade union bodies;
  • Restoration of trade union inspections, which have always been considered as one of pillars of the protection of workers' labour rights;
  • Eradication of norms that were of a declarative nature.

In light of the entry into force of the new law, we have asked the opinion of Ravshan Bedilov, President of the Education and Science Workers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, on the legislation as well as its elaboration procedure. In his commentary, he noted: “It is noteworthy to mention that the general public was involved in the discussion of the draft law, and thousands of proposals were considered. The proposals resulting from sometimes heated and wide-ranging discussions were carefully studied and 150 of them were included in the bill. More than 30 outdated norms were excluded from the text of the draft. He continued, “I would like to note the fact that not only trade union leaders and stakeholders took part in the elaboration process and the discussions around it, but also teachers and other education personnel affiliated to trade union organisations."

In the interview he noted: “Unfortunately, some people still think that trade unions are the organisations that distribute vouchers to sanatoriums and hold holiday events. In fact, the role and importance of trade union organisations, among other things, is protecting social and economic rights of workers, and ensuring the implementation of collective agreements. "

According to Article 28 of the law, from now on, when adopting normative legal documents concerning the socio-economic rights and interests of workers, as well as normative acts in the field of technical regulation, it is mandatory to agree with the relevant trade union body.

The education trade union claims that one of the main goals of the new law was to empower trade unions. Earlier, it was possible to join trade unions, but the mechanism for creating a trade union organisation was not well thought through. Thanks to this new law, foreign citizens living or studying in Uzbekistan, as well as stateless persons have now the right to join trade unions.

It is worth noting that in the past, the union body included, among others, employer representatives who tried to influence trade union work. From now on, employers and their representatives cannot be elected to the governing body of a trade union or take the initiative to create it. The introduction of this new regulation made trade unions more independent and strengthened the obligations of employers.

“One of our most important and responsible task is now to ensure the implementation of this important law”, concluded Mr Bedilov.