Ukrainian unions are objecting to the inclusion of lockout provisions in Articles 48-52 of the collective labour disputes draft law, currently under discussion in Ukraine’s parliament. The lockout provisions, which would give employers more power and strip away rights that workers already have, are in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and international labour standards.

The inclusion of the lockout provisions legitimises the employers’ rights to initiate lockouts and negates all the advanced progress that has been made on strikes. If there are any violations to property, the strike could be deemed illegal, and an employer can receive compensation.

The provisions don’t enhance workers’ rights, there could be a limitation on the number of employees who will legally be allowed to strike with no more than three or five people. A warning strike can only be issued once and for only 60 minutes during the entire time of a labour dispute.

The inadmissibility of the lockout, as stipulated in Articles 48-52 of this draft law, is confirmed by the practices observed within the European Committee on Social Rights. In addition, the Committee highlights that the right to lockout should not be regarded as offering comprehensive and extensive protection, in contrast to the right to strike.

Raising awareness on how the new inclusions threaten ordinary workers and trade union members, KVPU has launched a campaign involving union leaders voicing their concerns and positions to members of parliament.

Isabelle Barthès, Acting Joint General Secretary of industriAll Europe:

“If Ukraine’s future lies in the EU, as the President of the European Commission has asserted, we insist that it upholds key elements of the European social model. The right to strike and collective bargaining are essential elements of the European social model. Without the right to take effective industrial action, collective bargaining becomes toothless, and we need collective bargaining to ensure a fair distribution of wealth and good working conditions. We stand with our Ukrainian colleagues and will continue to alert the EU to attempts to weaken workers’ rights.”

“At the international level, the right to strike is regulated by ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association and the protection of the right to organize. At the national level, the right to strike is enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution under Article 44. Considering that the lockout provisions are in violation of the Constitution and international labour standards, IndustriALL calls for the exclusion of these provisions from the draft law on collective labour disputes,” says IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie.

IndustriALL and industriAll Europe have jointly sent letters to the Ukrainian president and the Ukrainian Parliament calling for the withdrawal of these provisions, impressing that they violate workers’ rights.

IndustriALL Global Union and industriAll European Trade Union call on the EU to raise this matter with the Ukrainian authorities in the context of integration process.

IndustriALL also calls on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to intervene to achieve opposition to the inclusion of lockout provisions in the draft law.