Ukraine: Anti-social bill no. 5371 has been withdrawn . But the threat has not disappeared

In the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 9 July this year the draft law on simplifying the regulation of labour relations No. 5371 was to be considered as a whole. On the eve of this attempt to vote on the anti-grassroots law 5371, the trade unions for the second time called on the deputies not to support it. This was because it contained provisions that discriminated against employees in small and medium-sized enterprises. FPU Chairman Hryhoriy Osovy reminded the People’s Deputies of Ukraine from all factions and groups in the parliament about the unacceptability of parliamentary support for such legislative initiatives, especially in the conditions of martial law, calling on the People’s Deputies of Ukraine not to vote for the draft No. 5371. After all, such initiatives do not meet the aspirations of the Ukrainian people and authorities for the fastest accession of Ukraine to the EU.

As reported by the Social Movement (Sotsialniy Rukh) on its Facebook page, "Thanks to the coordinated actions of the left forces and trade unions of Ukraine and the world, the draft was withdrawn from consideration by its initiators. And as a result, H. Tretyakova was unable to mobilise other party members to support her neoliberal innovations. Our solidarity can contain the assault of the authorities, but attempts to reconsider this particular project are not excluded (it has not yet been withdrawn). In order to prevent a new attack on the welfare of the majority of the Ukrainian population, it is necessary to unite in the trade unions in the workplaces and to promote a socialist expression in politics. The Social Movement is ready to participate in the defence of labour rights, including by offering free legal consultations."

We remind you that on 7 June 2022, the Committee on Social Policy and Protection of Veterans’ Rights decided to submit the draft law No. 5371 "On amending certain legislative acts to simplify the regulation of labour relations in the field of small and medium-sized enterprises and reducing the administrative burden on entrepreneurial activity" for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the second reading.

The examination of this toxic draft in the parliament took place during the plenary week of 13-17 June this year.

Despite some amendments to the articles of draft No. 5371, prepared by the specialised committee for the second reading, the FPU’s position regarding the non- conformity of the draft law with the European integration aspirations of Ukrainians remained unchanged.

The mechanisms of the extreme form of liberalisation of labour relations included in the draft will lead to their imbalance and to a shift towards purely individual contractual regulation. This in turn will lead to discriminatory restrictions on the labour rights and guarantees of millions of workers who work in companies with up to 250 employees.

The leaders of the Ukrainian Parliament were warned against such innovations in a joint letter dated 1 June 2022 by the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation Sharan Barrow and the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation Luca Visentini.

In view of the above, FPU President Hryhoriy Osovy called on the heads of factions and groups of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to convey to the People’s Deputies of Ukraine the position of the international trade union organisations and the FPU on the inadmissibility of the draft law No. 5371, which as such causes protests in civil society during the martial law and harms the process of Ukraine’s accession to the EU.