By the EESC Workers' Group
On 23 February 2023, the Ukrainian Parliament voted in favour of a law strengthening social rights by protecting social dialogue and collective bargaining. A milestone in the protection of Ukrainian workers and the country's accession to the EU.
The law stipulates that collective agreements are binding, guarantees the right of trade unions to negotiate and safeguards their rights and preferences in collective bargaining and social dialogue. It also requires employers to provide material and technical support for trade union activities within the company, and the financing of collective agreement activities and expenses is included among the company's obligatory and protected expenses. The law also gives trade unions a strong role with regard to possible changes in working conditions, including the right to veto dismissals of trade union activists.
The law was adopted by parties in the Ukrainian Parliament across the political spectrum, with important support from the centre and centre-right. The Workers' Group stands with the Ukrainian people, trade unions and civil society organisations as they pursue peace and social justice in a country ravaged by war. Their contribution to delivering humanitarian assistance and keeping the economy going, in difficult conditions and often at personal risk, is invaluable. They have a crucial role to play in the reconstruction of Ukraine, which must be based on full respect for fundamental workers' and citizens' rights. This is a very important step not just for the protection of workers in Ukraine but also for the process of accession to the EU. (mg)