On 7 of November in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine the Parliamentary Committee on Social Policy, Employment and Pensions organized the Hearings on the observance of the rights of trade unions and employers' organizations in Ukraine in accordance with the ILO Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize. The members of the Ukrainian parliament, officials of ministries and departments, representatives of public organizations and trade unions attended this meeting.
The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) was represented by its leaders Chairperson Mykhailo Volynets, the Chairman of the Free Trade Union of Railway Workers of Ukraine Volodymyr Kozelskyi, the Chairman of the Free Trade Union of Education and Science of Ukraine Volodymyr Fundovnyi, the Deputy Chairman of the KVPU Petro Tuley, the Chairperson of the primary organisation of the NPGU at the mine "Ingulska" Dmytro Bondaryev.
Before the discussion on the main topic the MP, the first deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Social Policy, Employment and Pensions Serhii Kaplin spoke on the wage arrears in the coal-mining industry. He told about his experience of staying underground with the protesting miners of the mine named after G.Kapustin for a few days. According to the MP, he was shocked by the difficult and unsafe conditions in the mine.
During the Hearings, the Chairperson of the KVPU and NPGU Mykhailo Volynets also paid attention to the underground protest of the miners the mine named after G.Kapustin, who demand the payment of wages for the period from June to September 2018 and for some months of 2015-2017 years. He added that 56 employees of the non-industrial group of the technological complex of the mine ‘Kurakhivska’ refused to receive wages till money for wages for all workers of mine will be allocated. These employees who are mostly women get low wages. They decided to work without payment because they wanted to show their solidarity with miners and to prevent any conflicts between workers. Participants of the Hearings discussed the practice of the division of the staff of coal-mine enterprise into certain groups. As Mykhailo Volynets explained, one part of workers receives money allocated from the state budget and the rest from the income of enterprise. The most speakers of the meeting agreed that such a practice is unacceptable.
During the speech Mykhailo Volynets highlighted the most common violation of trade unions rights, in particular, he told about obstacles for registering new trade unions. The Chairperson of the KVPU told about the pressure on the leader and activists of the primary trade union organization of the NPGU at the mine ‘Inglska’.
Subsequently, the discussion was on various aspects of the topic of Hearings. In particular, it was about the property of one trade union center. On this occasion, Mikhailo Volynets said: "I would like to note that the consideration of this complex issue should be very carefully taken into account. There must be equal rights and opportunities for all trade unions in Ukraine. The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine actually got all the property complexes after the collapse of the USSR, including health resorts, recreation centers, hotels, restaurants and etc. Therefore, I believe that property should be equally distributed among all trade union centres in Ukraine".
Summing up the discussion, the first deputy chairperson of the committee Serhii Kaplin noted, that the violations of the rights of workers' rights defenders are the reason why Ukraine is in the list of countries with no guarantee of rights. ‘I want to emphasize that the Committee on Social Policy, Employment and Pensions is a reliable partner of all trade unions in all processes of defending the interests of hired workers’ – he assured.