EU must act to protect workers’ rights in Ukraine

10 Aug 2022


Ukrainian Government attacks workers’ rights and unions amidst EU candidacy

In view of Ukraine’s candidacy to the EU, the ETF and the ITF call on the European Commission to compel Ukraine to recall laws depriving Ukrainian workers of their collective rights and social protection:

On July 19, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a law that will discriminate against workers in organisations with less than 250 employees and deprive them of labour protections including collective labour rights.

The law “About the organisation of labour relation under martial law” adopted on 15 March 2022 gives employers the right to suspend collective agreements and deprives the workers of the right of trade union representation and protection when dismissed.

While both the ETF and the ITF welcome the recent decision to grant Ukraine a status of an EU Candidate Country, we are appalled by these recent legislative developments in Ukraine in the field of labour relations.

These laws are contrary to The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, now Part II of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which includes a number of fundamental trade union rights.

The ETF and the ITF have written to European Commission officials, calling for immediate action and for the EU to emphasise the importance of social dialogue during the accession negotiations with Ukraine.

You may consult the ETF-ITF letter here.

Meanwhile, to support Ukrainian workers’ struggle for labour rights, please sign the LabourStart Petition to call on President Zelenskyy to veto the law (law no. 5371) as it does not comply with the Constitution of Ukraine, Ukraine’s European integration obligations and international labour standards.