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Ukrainian laws stripping workers of collective bargaining rights slammed by TUCs

THE International and European TUCs have condemned new anti-union laws in Ukraine that strip workers of collective bargaining rights and open the path to confiscation of trade union property.

The two union federations wrote to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this week calling on him not to sign several Bills which have been passed in its parliament.

Draft Law 5371 legalises zero-hours contracts and removes collective bargaining rights from employees of small and medium-sized enterprises, saying employers may negotiate individual contracts with such workers — who comprise 70 per cent of the Ukrainian workforce.

Another law concerning the disposition of what had been public property in the Soviet period says all such property should revert to the Ukrainian state, which economic development committee chair Dmytro Natalukha has openly said should involve the state confiscation of trade union property.

ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said it was “grotesque” that Ukraine was attacking its own workers as they struggled to keep its economy running amid the Russian invasion.

“The threat to confiscate the property of the unions is aimed at stopping them opposing the draconian Bills, and will allow oligarchs to take future ownership of them at bargain basement prices.

“Despite the war, Ukrainian politics seems to be business as usual, only now under martial law.”

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