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Information on GCTU Council Session
9 November 2004

The Azerbaijan Trade Union Confederation affiliating 25 industrial trade unions with a total membership of 1,338 thousand workers has been admitted to the General Confederation of Trade Unions, GCTU.

The decision was taken at the session of the GCTU Council that took place in Moscows Palace of Labour 3 November 2004. The Council also considered a number of topical issues relating to trade union activity in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The session adopted the Regulations for the Council and Executive Committee of the GCTU. The appearance of such a document was necessitated by the earlier changes in the structure of the ruling bodies of the Confederation made at its 5th (Extraordinary) Congress in March 2004. As it stands now, the newly established GCTU Council is the governing body of the Confederation in the inter-congress period, whereas the Executive Committee steers its day-to-day activities.

The Council approved the Recommendations of the International Seminar on the Problems of Labour Migration in the CIS countries held by the GCTU 2 November 2004 in Moscow. Members of the Council called for closer cooperation of CIS countries in the sphere of protecting the rights of migrant workers. They suggested that the national trade union centres in the Commonwealth press their respective governments for quicker signing of the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families in the CIS States and for ratification of relevant UN and ILO Conventions.

The session discussed and approved a draft model law for the CIS countries on social partnership developed by GCTU experts, and proposed that the paper should be submitted for consideration by the Inter-Parliamentary Assemblies of the CIS and of the Eurasian Economic Community. The document defines the organisational, legal and economic framework for the system of social partnership, which is currently regarded as the principal way to regulate the social and labour relations in the Commonwealth countries.

Having discussed the state of labour protection in the CIS, the session noted that the problem remained still acute and urgent and was among the main concerns for the unions. The Executive Committee was instructed to send a copy of the GCTU Report on the State of Health and Safety in the Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States to the CIS Council of Heads of State. The national trade union centres and the industrial Trade Union Internationals were invited to pay particular attention to these issues in the process of elaborating, signing and implementing their collective agreements and industrial wage accords.

The Council has established and approved the personal composition of the GCTU Commissions on:

  • - protection of workers socio-economic interests and legal problems;
  • - organizing, cooperation of trade unions in the transfrontier regions, and training;
  • - health and safety;
  • - environment protection and the Chernobyl disaster aftermath;
  • - humanitarian cooperation and information; and
  • - working women.

    A day earlier, on the 2nd of November, a session of the GCTU Executive Committee was held in Moscow. The Executive listened to reports on the social and economic situation and union activity in CIS countries that were delivered by the leaders of the national trade union centres. A integrated GCTU information service was established to enhance the information links and flows within the Confederation. The service will consist of representatives appointed by the Executive Committee of the GCTU and its affiliates.