Thursday, December 22, 2011

The General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) representing 50 million workers is greatly concerned over the recent aggravation of developments in Kazakhstan.The protests by striking workers in Zhanaozen who demanded the payment of wage arrears escalated into street events which were used by incendiaries for their own extremist purposes. According to the latest data, dozens of protesters suffered, with 14 people killed and 100 injured, as the police suppressed the unrest.

The GCTU expresses its deep regret at the tragic loss of life. We believe that peaceful solutions to the problem can only be found by joint efforts of workers, trade unions, employers and the government, through dialogue and negotiation, and within the framework of the opportunities offered by the Kazakhstan labour legislation.

We call on the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to intervene decisively in the protracted labour dispute, prevent its further growth, and take the necessary steps to resolve it in the interests of all the parties concerned.

General Confederation of Trade Unions

Moscow, 20 December 2011