Monday, April 11, 2011

The Executive Committee of the General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) held a session at the Palace of Labour 7 April 2011 in Moscow.

Participants heard information from several GCTU affiliates on the measures they had taken to raise the minimum wages and make them match the subsistence minimum. The Executive Committee decided to proceed with the trade union solidarity campaign “Minimum Pay at Least Equal to the Subsistence Minimum”. In the course of their collective bargaining campaigns, the national trade union centres of CIS countries will insist on a minimum wage being on a par with the subsistence minimum, and on establishing a linkage between the minimum pay and the consumer price index. The trade unions intend to participate in revising the rate of subsistence minimum, seeking to change its structure and expand the assortment of goods and services that make up the consumer goods basket.

As part of monitoring the ratification and observance of major international standards in CIS countries, the Executive considered the information on the progress made since previous April in the ratification of the eleven ILO Conventions recommended by the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in 2004 at the initiative of the GCTU. Specialist of the ILO sub-regional bureau in Moscow, Sergeyus Glovackas, made a contribution to the discussion.
The Executive Committee appreciated the work done in this area by GCTU affiliates, and called on them to increase efforts to get the ILO conventions ratified. With this purpose in view, they will have to provide for recurrent consideration of the issue by their statutory bodies, initiate discussions in the tripartite commissions and other competent authorities, and raise the problem during their meetings with representatives of the governments, legislatures, and employers’ organisations. The GCTU affiliates were encouraged to continue their supervision over the ratification at the national level, detect and analyse violations of ratified conventions, and report the results to the GCTU Executive.

The GCTU Executive adopted a Message of Solidarity in Connection with the European Action Day and, in particular, with the Euro-demonstration held 9 April 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.The Message sent to the ETUC says among other things: “We support the ETUC line for the consistent protection of workers’ interests in the face of the overt attempts by the governments and employers in many European countries to carry out anti-crisis measures at the cost of reducing the living standards of employees, pensioners and all other sections of the population, at the cost of infringing on the legitimate rights of working people. We assure the European Trade Union Confederation and its affiliates of our unfailing solidarity with, and support of, the struggles they are waging in defence of the working masses in the European Union”.