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Europe & Central Asia
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In Europe and Central Asia, the Solidarity Center helps unions defend worker rights, promote legal reform, and gain workers their rightful voice in the political and economic transition process.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia have been struggling to become politically democratic participants in a free market economy. The transition has not been entirely successful, however.

Far too many governments persist in denying workers and unions their basic rights. The laws that do exist to protect workers are feebly enforced. Unemployment is high, and many employers fail to pay workers on time if at all. Illegal or corrupt privatization schemes coupled with the rapid growth of trafficking and organized crime have pushed working men and women further into poverty. Ongoing ethnic conflict still threatens to undermine democratic gains.


AFL-CIO Letter to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarabayev. December 16, 2013—The AFL-CIO writes in support of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Kazakhstan's campaign for release of workers imprisoned in December 2011.

Free Trade Unions Rally at Kiev Euromaidan. December 16, 2013—KVPU (Ukraine's independent union federation), reports on the protests in Kiev, the Ukranian capital.

Ukrainian Union: Economic Fairness over Austerity, Autocracy. December 2, 2013—The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) is preparing for a possible national strike to call for just economic reform and a more rational approach to solving the country's financial woes.

Ukraine Unions Back EU Accord, Oppose IMF Austerity Demands. November 26, 2013—As protests have spread across Ukraine in recent days over the government’s decision to suspend Association Agreement talks with the European Union, more than 100,000 Ukrainians took to the streets in Kiev on Sunday, marching in the cold rain as part of a coalition of political parties and civil society groups, including the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU).

Kyrgyzstan Parliament Workers Form Independent Union. July 26, 2013—Kyrgyzstan Parliament employees successfully formed a new union, now recognized by their employer, after a months-long struggle in which supporters of the new 100-member union were fired and the new union president was barred from the building.

Ukraine: Worker Rights Under Threat as Democracy Dwindles
. May 23, 2013—Freedom of association and the ability of civil society organizations to fully function in Ukraine are in jeopardy as the country increasingly moves away from democracy. Only international attention and solidarity have slowed these disturbing trends.

Russian Unionist Wins 2013 Svensson Prize for Trade Union Rights. May 3, 2013—Valentin Urusov, the Russian electrician and trade unionist unjustly imprisoned for years in a Siberian penal colony, received the international Arthur Svensson Prize for Trade Union Rights in 2013. 

Global Unions Urge Release of Imprisoned Russian Trade Unionist. February 6, 2013—Trade unionist Valentin Urusov, an electrical fitter at an ore-processing mill owned by the diamond mining company Alrosa, has spent more than four years of a six-year term in a penal colony in far northern Russia.

Decent Work and the Valentin Urusov Case. November 28, 2012—This is an excerpt from the Global Labour Column by Anna Wolañska, international secretary of NSZZ “Solidarnoœæ” and a member of the governing Body of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Like Russian politics, labor relations in Russia are rife with contradictions.

Solidarity Center, IUF Open Moldovan Migrant Worker Center. October 10, 2012—The Solidarity Center and the International Union of Food, Farm, and Hotel Workers (IUF) have launched the Information Center for Migrant Workers (ICMW), in Chisinau, Moldova. 

Ukraine: Union Leader Injured by Police during Protest in Kiev. July 10, 2012—Ukrainian union leader Valentyna Korobka was hospitalized with a concussion and other injuries after she was assaulted by police at a July 4, 2012, protest in Kiev, according to the Free Trade Union of Entrepreneurs of Ukraine (FTUEU), which she chairs.

Legal Advisory Center Offers Free Job-Related Counsel to Kyrgyz Workers. March 30, 2012—The Legal Advisory Center (LAC), established on March 12 at Kyrgyz National University, Bishkek, offers information about work-related issues and educates workers about their rights on the job.

Turkey: New ITUC Report Highlights Government's Failure to Protect Workers. February 21, 2012—A new report released today by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) strongly criticizes the Turkish government’s failure to protect workers from exploitation and intimidation by private-sector employers and state authorities.

Worker Rights Endangered in Greece. February 7, 2012—The International Trade Union Confederation has condemned the attacks on worker rights in the current demands being made of the Greek government by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. 

Debate in Kyrgyzstan: To Join or not to Join a Common Customs Border? January 11, 2012—Would Kyrgyzstan’s membership in a regional economic bloc with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan aid or undermine jobs, wages, and living standards for Kyrgyz workers?
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