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ETUC: EU Eastern Partnership must improve workers’ rights

The EU’s Eastern Partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – whose Heads of Government/State will be in Brussels on Friday 24 November for the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit, have a very poor record of implementing workers’ rights.

Workers in Ukraine and Belarus have “No guarantee of rights” according to the 2017 Global Rights Index of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), in Moldova suffer “repeated violations of rights” and in Georgia “regular violation of rights” (the ITUC did not have sufficient data on Armenia and Azerbaijan).

Workers’ rights are human rights,” said Irakli Petriashvili, President of the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) of the ITUC. “Countries that aspire to democratic development and European values must respect labour rights today, not in some distant future.  Real rights must be enforced, not remain on paper.”

Dialogue and negotiations between trade unions and employers are key to successful and sustainable economic development and democracy,” said Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the PERC and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). “The Eastern Partnership Summit has to address workers’ rights and promote social dialogue.”

The ETUC and the PERC call on all Eastern Partnership countries to commit to social dialogue as part of their development, and on the EU to reward partners who respect international labour standards in practice.

In a statement issued by the PERC and ETUC the trade unions support the Eastern Partnership, and want to see much greater emphasis in it on workers’ rights and social dialogue.

For the full ETUC/PERC statement see https://www.etuc.org/press/eu-eastern-partnership-must-improve-workers-rights#.WhaRpEqnFPY

For the ITUC 2017 Global Rights Index see  https://www.ituc-csi.org/ituc-global-rights-index-2017

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