Analysis Materials 7 December 2005 12:04 (UTC +04:00)

The last events at the deepwater jackets plant of the US oil company McDermott, for the next time made suspicious the activities of the trades unions. The Azerbaijani employees of the workers decided themselves to defend own rights.

The statistics of the violation of citizens’ rights, which the independent experts use, shows 80% of the violations fell on the labor legislation and only 1% of the suffered succeed to restore their rights. The violations were frequently observed in the initial stage of privatization when mass dismissal of the employees was of usual character, while they were deprived of a right obtaining a share at the joint stock companies. Inequality in labor payment and incompliance in the amount of bonuses was an acute problem.

Besides, break in the execution of the labor legislation of Azerbaijan is observed almost in all enterprises throughout the country irrespective of the form of ownership, including the foreign companies. So, the strike of employees of McDermott cannot be regarded as surprise.

The only effective activities of the trades union over the past few years were linked with the collection of fees in the amount of 2% of their salaries and presentation of tickets for tour of sanatoriums.

As to protection of rights and labor security, the care of the trades unions in this direction leaves much to be desired. In the Labor Protection Department of Confederation of Azerbaijani Trades Unions (CATU), asserted that the definition of the tendency on increase of mortality rate in the production had been observed. In accordance with the data provided by the organization, in 2004 a total of 38 cases of death was fixed, while in 2003 they numbered 29.

Majority of workers at the foreign production companies do not hold membership at the trades unions. The same can be said about private companies, involved in the construction business. They do not allow the trades union to enter their territory and impeded the conclusion of trades contracts with their workers.

The republican field trades unions have repeatedly appealed to private construction companies with the calls to establish trades unions, while the majority of them ignore such proposals. The employers willfully avoid concluding the labor contracts with the employees, as it envisages definite commitments before the employees and the government.

Such situation actually contradicts the Azerbaijani legislation, the ILO conventions that Azerbaijan joined. They are part of human rights and specify trades unions of the employees, conduct of talks, non-interference to the affairs of the trades unions.

Meanwhile, the number of trades unions grows. In 2003 the number of trades unions in Azerbaijan grew 3.2% as compared to 2002 and there appeared 622 new organizations. The complaints mainly concern the unemployment, problem with payment of benefits, compensations, illegal dismissal.

So, it is necessary to assist the trades unions and first the government ought to come out with such an initiative. It is possible to ink a decree committing obligatory conclusion of professional agreements for agreement for all organizations irrespective of the form of ownership and belonging. It is also necessary to unify efforts of the Department for Technical Control and the State Inspection on Labor at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. The CPAU officials are not lowed to visit the enterprises as incognito. They have repeatedly appealed to the public bodies with an intention to get included in the group on investigation of the cases. It is necessary to impose sanctions for entrepreneurs, which do not follow the labor protection rules.