PERC HTUR network meeting

The PERC Human and Trade Union Rights meeting took place on 23rd of October, with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Shifting. The participants discussed agenda for the ITUC HTUR Committee meeting, democracy and peace frontline and the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis brings to the workers and their unions, particularly in a view of different attempts to limit freedom of association and to take collective action.

Situation in Belarus was discussed, where workers continue fighting for the freedoms and democracy. Political strike is called by the opposition, the independent trade unions are supporting it, also urging to campaign for release of imprisoned trade union and strike committees’ leaders. In Ukraine, the draft trade union legislation is on agenda of the Parliament that, if adopted, would violate freedom of association and collective bargaining. Wage arrears are persisting in the country, while labour conflicts resolution system is dysfunctional that leads to radicalisation of industrial actions. Forty days underground strike in Krivy Rog ended with an agreement signed, but hundreds of workers face tribunal for their actions now. In Kyrgyzstan, political turmoil further influences trade union developments in the country, where different political or business groups have been trying to get control over the trade union organisations. Different workers’ rights situations in Turkey were discussed, from transfers of workers between different sectors as a COVID-19 measure to continues repressions against KESK members.

Special attention was devoted to the Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia. Tos Anonuevo from BWI introduced the BRI and its major implications in the Pan-European Region, while Monina Wong from ITUC HTUR department presented the survey on Chinese investments in Asia. The PERC has engaged independent collaborator to assist in building better understanding of BRI influence on workers rights in the Central Asian region, worst in terms of respect of the fundamental workers rights in the Pan-European Region. On that basis the broader strategic discussion will be called.

BRI mapping
Chinese investment in Asia