“The whole system of labour law and social protection is being dismantled. The law on labour has already been nicknamed a ‘slavery law’. Massive transition to individual contracts will deprive workers of their rights, and every worker will have to individually bargain over their wages and working conditions … it is incumbent upon the government of Ukraine to withdraw this draft labour law without any delay.”
In the letter, Mr Cotton reminds President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine’s obligations under international law: “The draft law is in contravention of core international labour standards, undermines workers’ fundamental rights and is a regression from the current Ukrainian national labour law.”
The new law violates several International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions that Ukraine has ratified including minimum wage fixing (no. 131), freedom of association and protection of the right to organise (no. 87) and right to organise and collective bargaining (no. 98).
Ukrainian trade union federations and ITF-affiliated unions are actively campaigning against the law, which has attracted strong international opposition from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Industriall global union and the European Public Services Union.