Kazajstán - Ministry of Labour denies registration to the independent trade union of the Oil Construction Company providing specious motivation

On 24 June 2015, the Oil Construction Company trade union started the process of re-registration in accordance with the new trade union law introduced in 2014, but their request was denied multiple times. In October 2015, the trade union contested the Ministry’s denial in Court, but the judge ruled in favour of the Ministry and confirmed the decision in the appeal judgment.

Being unable to re-register the existing trade union, the Oil Construction Company trade union tried to register a new union. However, the request has been denied for several futile reasons on eight different occasions. Reasons given throughout the process included the use of the word “conference” instead of “council” or “congress”
and the intention of the trade union to affiliate itself with an international trade union, which is neither explicitly allowed nor prohibited by the law.On 29 April, the Ministry refused registration because the trade union used the abbreviation “profsoyus,” a short form for the Russian “professionalnii soyus,” (trade union). The Ministry repeatedly referred to the same reasons to refuse the registration of trade unions. This is what happened to a group of 10 miners in Zhezkazgan when they tried to register their newly formed union in late 2014. Their request for registration was denied on three occasions between February and March 2015, because the union indicated its intention to set up branch offices and because of the outstanding private debts of one of its members.

Thus, in most cases, registration was denied on arbitrary grounds undermining the right to freedom of association.

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