Unions urge EU to defend freedom of association in Kazakhstan

The ETUC is calling on EU representatives to defend trade union rights when they meet members of the Kazakhstan government in Astana today.

In a letter to EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ITUC), condemn the arrest and interrogation of trade unionists and moves to deregister trade unions in Kazakhstan. The International Labour Organization has repeatedly urged Kazakh ministers to repeal the law that restricts union activities.
At the EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee meeting today, the EU should demand the immediate release of imprisoned trade unionists, suspension of the Law on Trade Unions, and an end to deregistration of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Kazakhstan and its affiliates, say the ETUC and ITUC.

“The detention, intimidation and arbitrary interrogation by the police of trade unionists because of their union activities constitutes a serious obstacle to the exercise of trade union rights,” said Luca Visentini. “We urge the EU to raise these issues at the EU-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee meeting and to demand the Kazakh government ensure full respect for the right to freedom of association.”

Joint ITUC/ETUC Letter sent to High Commissioner Mogherini