On February 5, the trade unions planned a protest rally to be held simultaneously with the Parliamentary Committee discussions on the draft law “On occupational safety and health”.
The rally-performance started at the time when inside the Parliament building the Members of the Parliament opened the discussion with participation of representatives of NGOs and the trade unions. But a few minutes and the trade union representative’s speech later, the discussion was stopped by the ruling party representatives and postponed for a week.
According to the official statement, the session postponement was necessary for the positions of the executive and the legislative authorities to come into conformity.
The Committee’s decision to postpone the session did not affect the rally and it proceeded outside the building.
The main purpose was to remind the legislative body that the bill which is to be adopted is far from perfect and lately was almost been stripped off of important for trade union movement issues, including:
✔The scope of law enforcement – as far as the document is concerned, it only applies to severe, harmful and hazardous work and the main part of workers still remain outside the framework of the safe working conditions. Moreover, the project does not include any mention of a specific timeframe when it should be extended to all workers;
✔ The project refers only to occupational health and safety and leaves the issue of enforcement of labor laws and labor rights without any regulation;
✔ Labor inspectors, in many cases, still do not have any unconditional access to workplaces, even if they are directly addressed by workers on violation of occupational health and safety standards;
Consequently, the draft law is still incompatible with the international labor standards and does not offer an effective mechanism for inspection.
The organizers of the rally called on the Parliament to create and enforce legislation that guarantees decent work for workers in accordance with the international standards.