Europe & Central Asia

Georgia Railway Workers Secure Key Safety Gains

Nearly 200 railway construction workers in three villages in west Georgia won significant health and safety gains through two agreements with state-owned company China Railway 23rd Bureau Group, according to interviews with several workers in a new Georgian-language video. The company is under contract with the government to modernize Georgia’s Tbilisi-Rikoti railway route, including construction… [READ MORE]

May Day: Standing up for Worker Rights across the Globe

  • May 2, 2017
  • |

From Cambodia to Zimbabwe, in Serbia and Honduras, hundreds of thousands of workers and their families celebrated International Workers Day, honoring the dignity of work and the accomplishments of the labor movement in defending human rights, job stability, fair wages and safe workplaces. Together, workers and their unions are demonstrating their commitment to sustaining and… [READ MORE]

Georgia Teachers Sign Historic Pact

In a precedent-setting move, the union representing teachers in Georgia signed a pact with the education ministry last month, signaling the new government’s willingness to partner with teachers—although unions in other sectors, including the railways and postal sector remain under attack. Unions in Georgia have struggled for their right to organize for more than a… [READ MORE]

Uzbek Human Rights Activist Elena Urlaeva Released

Uzbek human rights defender Elena Urlaeva was released from a psychiatric hospital in Tashkent yesterday where she was imprisoned for 23 days with neither her consent nor a court order to forcibly treat her, according to the Cotton Campaign. Urlaeva’s release follows an international campaign spearheaded by the Cotton Campaign, a global coalition of labor,… [READ MORE]

Ukraine: Rights Ombudsman, Unions, NGOs Fight Corruption

  • March 23, 2017
  • Tristan Masat

Corruption in Ukraine extends beyond the public sphere, seeping across the economy, private sector and individual relationships. To fight it, nongovernmental organizations and trade unions have joined with Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeria Lutkovska to leverage grassroots solidarity work in support of the Ombudsman’s office’s anti-corruption efforts. Together, the group launched the “Solidarity… [READ MORE]

Global Unions Rally for 350 Fired Georgia Workers

Some 350 workers at the Georgia chemical company Rustavi Azot recently were dismissed without notice or compensation and nearly 2,000 more threatened with firing unless they accept new, short-term contracts. The actions by the company, which produces mineral fertilizers, ammonia, sodium cyanide and nitric acid, generated protests in Rustavi and Tbilisi, garnered international support and… [READ MORE]

Kazakhstan: Crackdown on Union Deepens

The arrest and detention of two union leaders in Kazakhstan marks an escalation in government attempts to silence unions it does not control. KNPRK Deputy President Nurbek Kushakbaev and local union Chairman Amin Yeleusinov were arrested January 20 after oil workers, including the two leaders, began a hunger strike to protest the Kazakh government’s legal action… [READ MORE]

Kazakhstan Seeks to Dissolve Unions

Union leaders tell the Solidarity Center that the Kazakhstan government has launched a campaign to intimidate union members and to malign and discredit the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CFTUK). In addition, the regime has initiated legal action to liquidate the confederation, while leaving intact a government-aligned federation. Yet even in the face of threats… [READ MORE]

Georgia Alloy Factory Workers Make Big Gains in New Pact

Workers at the Zestafoni Ferroalloy factory in Georgia’s Imereti region successfully negotiated a contract after five months of negotiations with their employer that includes wide-ranging workplace safety and health improvements, wage increases and social benefits. The three-year pact finalized earlier this month at the country’s largest silicomanganese processing plant establishes 40 hours as the standard… [READ MORE]

Uzbekistan Cotton Harvest: Activists Detained, Beaten

  • October 28, 2016
  • Jeff C. Wheeler

In the past month, journalists and human rights activists in Uzbekistan have been arrested, interrogated and even beaten for documenting conditions of forced labor and raising awareness among workers about their rights during the country’s annual cotton harvest. Every year, Uzbekistan mobilizes more than 1 million workers to pick cotton through a coercive system of… [READ MORE]

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