14 April 2009

A regular session of the GCTU Executive Committee was held 9 April 2009 in Moscow to review the Confederations activity over the period since last October.

High on the agenda were the problems of environment protection in CIS countries. Although most national governments implement their own environment protection policies based on respective laws, an unfavourable and tense situation persists in a great numbers of areas and industrial centres of the CIS states. There are numerous cases of gross violation of environmental legislations in the region. The drop in the quality of natural environment enhances risks to the health and life of the population, and leads to degradation of natural ecosystems. Coupled with the deteriorating quality of life and social and psychological stresses, this fact exerts influence on the sickness rate and disablement of the population.

The GCTU and its affiliates cooperate with interstate bodies, and participate in the legislative activities of the inter-parliamentary assemblies, of the CIS and the Eurasec in the sphere of natural protection and ecological security. Owing to the industrial collective agreements signed in CIS countries, public control has been established and exercised over the observance of ecological legislation, and trade union participation has been ensured in the development of environment improvement programmes.

The Executive adopted the Report on the Environment Protection in the Member-Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and on the Proposals to Improve the Ecological Situation, prepared jointly by the GCTU and the CIS Interstate Statistics Committee. Upon its finalisation based on the debates held at the session, the Report will be forwarded to the CIS heads of government and to the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth.

As they considered the progress made in the ratification and observance of ILO Conventions in CIS countries, Executive members stressed that in the context of the global financial and economic crisis respect for fundamental principles and rights at work and the advancement of international labour standards were an additional guarantee against the present-day recession resulting in intensified exploitation of workers and a steep decline in their working and living conditions.

All this highlights the importance of a speediest ratification and strict observance by CIS countries of the 11 ILO conventions recommended for ratification by the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in 2004 on the GCTUs initiative, as well as the basic and other major ILO conventions.

The GCTU Executive Committee decided to enhance the trade union monitoring of the ratification and observance of the conventions in Commonwealth states. The affiliates were asked to take more energetic steps in the future to get the ILO conventions ratified and strictly observed as soon as possible.

The Executive approved of the Statement by the General Confederation of Trade Unions on the 90th Anniversary of the International Labour Organisation.

For the first time in many years, the GCTU Executive Committee discussed trade union participation in organising summer recreation for children. Participants listened to and approved the experiences accumulated in this field by national trade union centres and TUIs. The unions will help implement state, regional and industrial programmes of summer recreation for children, bolstering the material and technical resources for children summer camps, training staff, and improving educational work with children.

When considering the issue of forming and developing Web-sites by the affiliates, Executive members pointed that both the GCTU and its member organisations were making every effort to introduce digital information and communication technologies in their work and in the activities of all trade union bodies.