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by the 5th (Extraordinary) Congress of the
General Confederation of Trade Unions
Moscow, 26 March 2004

Proceeding from the basic principles the General Confederation of Trade Unions adheres in its activity, i.e. the independence of trade unions, the protection of union rights and democratic freedoms, the autonomy, equality of rights and responsibilities, solidarity and mutual aid of its affiliates, the willingness to maintain relations with other trade union organisations, and the strive for stronger unity of the world trade union movement based on mutual respect and fair cooperation of all its stakeholders;
     taking into consideration the significant political and socio-economic changes in the CIS region where the development of trade unions has basically come to the end of its transition period;
     noting the low labour remuneration rates for most employees in the CIS countries, the sizeable unemployment, and the continued encroachment on the legal rights of workers and trade unions;
     stressing the ever growing importance of united actions by trade unions to surmount the negative effects of economic globalisation;
     considering that the economic growth in the CIS countries raises the liability of the employers and governments for timely and proper remuneration of employees' work and for pursuing strong social policies aimed at securing higher living standards for workers; and
     confirming the validity of the Guidelines for GCTU Activity in 2002-2007 and other documents adopted by the GCTU 4th Congress,

the 5th (Extraordinary) Congress of the General Confederation of Trade Unions has set the following priorities for the period to come:

  • coordinated struggle for social justice, full and efficient employment, decent work, a high price of labour, dignified living conditions, effective social protection of all categories of wage workers and gender equality;
  • protection of trade union rights in the CIS countries, providing legislative support for the objectives set in trade unions' programmes and constitutions, achieving more efficient cooperation between the unions and parliaments;
  • helping the affiliated organisations further develop their trade union movements, rendering them support and solidarity with their collective actions to safeguard trade union rights and freedoms and workers' economic and social interests;
  • improvement of social dialogue and social partnership at all levels of regulating the social and labour relations, more active involvement of trade unions in the formulation and realisation of economic and social policies;
  • trade union monitoring of the application of ILO conventions ratified by CIS states, initiating ratification of other ILO conventions through the inter-parliamentary structures;
  • more active participation of the GCTU in the work of Commonwealth interstate and intergovernmental bodies with the aim of strengthening the social component of integration, promoting a single social space, building a common labour market, and regulating the migration processes;
  • working towards the practical fulfilment, in the CIS countries, of the principal interstate agreements in the social sphere and the adoption of a Eurasian Social Charter;
  • strengthening the multilateral contacts among, and bilateral business links between, the GCTU affiliates, and the cooperation among trade union organisations in the transborder regions of the Commonwealth countries;
  • further development of a constructive dialogue with all international trade union organisations on pressing regional and global problems of economic and social development;
  • rendering assistance to the affiliated organisations in personnel training, recruitment of young people for union work, and motivating workers to join the unions;
  • strengthening the finance and organisational basis of the affiliates, optimisation of trade union structures;
  • promotion of trade union cooperation in the field of information, establishment of common databases, and improvement of relations with the mass media;
  • improvement of work procedures of the GCTU governing bodies, based on the principles of collective leadership, publicity, respect for the opinion of the minority, and execution of collectively taken decisions by all member organisations; and
  • enhancement of the efficiency of the GCTU standing commissions.
  • The 5th (Extraordinary) Congress of the General Confederation of Trade Unions expresses its confidence that both the GCTU and its affiliates, acting in solidarity and relying for support on the world trade union movement, will be able to protect effectively the vital interests of wage workers in the CIS countries.