ITUC affiliated national centre and its two affiliates, namely the National Healthcare Workers’ Union and National Domestic Workers’ Union have been dissolved. All the office documents of the Confederation have been seized and its national operations have been paralyzed.
Authorities are accusing the CNTUK of violation of the terms for submitting documents for re-registration, a procedure required for all trade unions in Kazakhstan after the adoption of the national Act on trade unions in 2014. Union officials say that the registration procedure is not clearly defined and open to manipulation by the authorities.
In a protest against the dissolution of CNTUK, dozens of workers at the Oil Construction Company in Kazakhstan have declared a hunger strike for 15 January. Although authorities have banned the initiative, workers have vowed to protest round the clock in front of the company offices, and refuse to eat until there is a decision to reopen their union.
Separately, there is an on-going hunger strike at the Kazakh Oil Company where workers are fighting against the closure of their union. Reportedly the health of workers is getting worse, but so far there has been no meaningful reaction on the side of the authorities.
‘The continued and increasing number of serious violations against fundamental workers’ rights in Kazakhstan is very worrying,’ said Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union. ‘These unacceptable acts by the authorities must come to an end and the Kazakh Government must fulfil its responsibility to ensure freedom of association under ILO Convention 87.’