Viacheslav Roi : Struggle for the Labour code still far hasn't ended

The labor code without preferences to the hired worker-  it's nonsense ( impossible )… Our state squeezes out everything that can from businessmen, and through fingers looks, how businessmen do  with hired workers just the same … This project must be crossing out and it'll be writing in another way.


The attention of audience isn't involved with discussions concerning the project of the Labour code which since 2003 waits on acceptance by the Supreme body of Ukraine in the second reading. In the meantime dispute goes not for separate specifications of the project. Unlike Federation of trade unions of Ukraine which basically supports the project, and its head Vasily Hara is the coauthor of the bill, leaders of some other trade-union associations categorically don't accept it. One of such leaders is the head of Federation of trade unions of workers of small and average enterprise of Ukraine Viacheslav Roi - has answered to the questions of UNIAN’s correspondent.

Mister Viacheslav, so what is the problem with the Labour code?

There is a project which has already taken place in the first reading in the Supreme body of Ukraine and can be at any moment taken out on definitive acceptance. Almost all independent trade unions (so usually named those who isn't a part of Federation of trade unions of Ukraine) consider its unacceptable, this project of the Labour code will lead to deterioration of position of hired workers. On my opinion, this project legalizes those unfair advantages of employers which it’s really , instead of on a letter of the operating Code of laws on work, have developed in Ukraine in labor relations for the last 15 - 20 years.

About what advantages of employers you say?

Mass unemployment, billions of not paid salaries, scanty earnings of a great bulk of Ukrainians, low level of the official minimum salary, shadow labor relations as a natural component of shadow economy, weakness or in general absence at many enterprises of trade unions, practical impossibility of the worker to defend the rights in court - all this cases  have led to that today the usual hired worker on 100 % is dependent on the employer. Not to lose work, the worker is compelled to agree for real increase in the working day, at absence of official registration of labor relations, at the salary in envelopes which lowers level of its social protection. So the worker is compelled to agree for such real rules of labor relations which are established by the employer independently, despite the operating labor legislation.

And in what way in the project of the Labour code employers want to legalize this situation?

The project doesn't contain real employer's liability for infringements of labor legislation. For the same nonpayments of salaries, for example. Or for work of the worker without appropriate registration of labor relations. There are a lot of moments when the independent right to define volume and character of labor relations is given to employers in the project . For example, in definition of the size of the harm caused to the employer by the worker or definition of the bases for dismissal of the worker. Thus the project doesn't fix the accurate rights of the trade-union organizations and obligations of the employer to coordinate the actions with trade unions. In this sphere all positions of the project of the code washed away, two-place, and consequently leave to the employer a wide field for maneuver really to ignore them. The project contains distribution of trade unions on "representative" and "not representative", and "the employer coordinates norms of type with trade union and if it isn't present - independently" directly encourage the employer to make everything if only at its enterprise of trade unions at all wasn't. There will be a person who will try to unite labor collective in trade union and this person will be immediately dismissed. It is a lot of similar cases.

Such norms of the project of the code which allow to the employer real possibility to break the rights of hired workers, are scattered under all text between in whole correct positions. Therefore to improve, to correct such text is impossible. This project is necessary to cross out and write the new variant .

Perhaps you accuse employers too strong , aren’t you ? It’s too hard for them . We’ll remember, for example, at least the sum of the tax on additional cost which is not returned by the state.

Yes, you will not especially envy to the Ukrainian businessmen , to do lawful business in our country is almost heroic act. It is already possible to give awards for it. However truth is that  our businessmen have learned to shift for a long time already a crush of the state from themselves on the workers. I'm agree, very often it is the step compelled from their party because differently business will simply be lost. But, certainly, to hired workers from that it is not easier. It seems that we have such informal situation in Ukraine: the state squeezes out everything that can from businessmen, and through fingers looks, how businessmen do  with hired workers injust the same way.

You consider that the Labour code with particular advantages for hired workers is necessary to Ukraine. And why? If the balance of labor relations is broken in favor of employers the Labour code should restore balance and that’s all. What for is necessary other extreme measure?

It not an extreme measure. Theoretically all of you speak correctly. It is possible to accept the Labour code where all will be "as the book writes". Only here to you a counter question: if the operating labor legislation hasn't prevented to affirm as practice of labor relations to the mentioned advantages of employers then what for to accept the new Labour code in which trade unions aren’t interested and the associations of employers are?

Have you an answer?

If to reconcile  that we’ll have the text of the law and real life and they will always exist everyone in itself any conversation, and in our including also, about the new labor legislation loses meaning: really, what discussions about the text of the Labour code can be if it, as well as the Code of laws on work, exists with life in parallel are worthy, without being crossed? However the desire of employers to legalize a real condition of labor relations favourable by it proves that all the same something depends on a law letter. The main thing - how much this letter accurately and unambiguously fixes the rights and duties of subjects of labor relations.

Any normal labor legislation is protection (in the form of granting of concrete advantages) hired workers from attempts of employers to increase the profits to strengthenings of operation of labor. Absence of the labor legislation, or a situation as at us when this legislation and real practice of labor relations exist in parallel, always conducts to expression by the employer from the hired worker still большей, than yesterday, profits. This rule has no exceptions. In other words, employers can live and without the Labour code, hired workers - aren't present. So the Labour code without preferences to the hired worker - a nonsense. Already in another way it is necessary to name such code. Something like "the Code of the strengthened operation of labor".

Another matter that in Ukraine, taking into account that condition of labor relations which has already really developed, the Labour code with usual, so to say - classical, norms of protection of hired workers any more won't help. As the operating Code of laws on work hasn't helped. The code with the strengthened protection of workers as reaction on suppressing advantage of employers which they have really today is necessary. Paraphrasing the known physical law, counteraction should be equated to action.

What  advantages of the worker should be in your project of the Labour code?

There are two blocks, or type, advantages of hired workers which need to be fixed accurately in the Labour code. The first - the broadest, within limits it is, of course, right the trade-union organizations as representatives of labor collective. It is necessary to recognize that labor conflicts are inevitable, we wouldn't accept what ideal law. In these conflicts of force should be equal. Possibilities of the separate hired worker will never equal to possibilities of the separate employer. With it only the trade union as equals can argue. In the meantime, in the project which now lies in parliament, absolutely there is no section about trade unions. By the way, at us the separate employer isn't left completely not to the mercy of fate - in Ukraine the organizations of employers much stronger than trade-union organizations. Employers very effectively defend the corporate rights. As the argument of it is such project of the Labour code today waits for definitive acceptance by the Supreme body of Ukraine.

The second block of advantages of hired workers is maximum fixing on a paper, that is official registration of all nuances of labor relations of the concrete employer and the concrete worker. It is necessary and to strengthen employer's liability for the actions and that the worker had though any lawful arguments when it suddenly will have a disagreement with the employer.

It is necessary for us in the Labour code, in other laws step by step, gradually, but persistently to restore balance in a triangle the state - employers - trade unions. Actually, and inequality between employers and hired workers which has really developed in sphere of labor relations and which nowadays try to legalize in the Labour code, is a direct consequence of unequal relations between the state, the organizations of employers and trade unions at national level. Trade-union leaders can't, and very often and don't want to lean to those initiatives of employers which really worsen position of hired workers. The state thus plays the party of employers as at us the state and employers are strong allies: Thousand, and can ten thousand officials have the business, that is, in effect, are simultaneously both with employers and businessmen - occupy the state posts and have thousand mandates of deputies of councils of all levels - from rural to Supreme.

Do you believe, that the Supreme body of Ukraine which, in your opinion, already teems with businessmen, which are employers, signs such Labour code?

My personal "believe or not believe " here has no value. Yes, probability of acceptance of such Labour code which, on my belief, really is necessary to the country at the given stage, critically small, almost zero. It is not visible powerful political or public, first of all - trade-union, forces which would achieve it contrary to a position of employers. However sooner or later, this structure of deputies, or following, or still following, but таки will accept the labor legislation necessary to a society, economy, the state - all without an exception. Here in it I really trust. That it has occurred as soon as possible, it is necessary to struggle today already, first of all - to trade-union leaders. It is assured, or if want - I believe that people, the same hired workers who are indifferent today to the project of the Labour code, eventually, will support us. Then at discussion of the new labor legislation trade unions will argue with employers as equals, and the state, People's Deputies will correctly understand, whose offers - employers or trade unions and which it should be supported.

You say that hired workers are indifferent to the project of the Labour code. Why? They don't understand, what is waiting for them, do they ?

Why there are no mass protests? Negative consequences of acceptance of such Labour code not are obvious to all, because will be shown not at once. And today than frightens the hired worker this project? In the unrationed afternoon? He already and so works, how many the employer will tell. The small salary? Now for it actually to receive though any salary, to have though any work. Humiliation of a role of trade unions? Today he still believes that will do without them. Therefore though leaders of independent trade unions constantly speak about unacceptability of the project of the Labour code, us, should recognize, don't hear.

So, the Labour code won't worsen the situation of hired workers, will it ?

In short-term prospect - isn't present, won't worsen. And already through two - three years - it is obligatory. The employer won't raise the salary (and all workers in due course count on payment increase) whether to go on the expenses connected with improvement of working conditions, is simple so, at the good will. And who will force them, if the primary trade-union organizations are definitively killed? After all any stimulus to creation and strengthening of the project of the Labour code it is not provided. To hope for the central power, on increase by deputies of the Supreme body of Ukraine of level of the minimum salary? They regularly do it and now. In the meantime, as the head of board of the Pension fund Boris Zajchuk has informed several days ago, in July this year 3,6 million Ukrainians have earned the wage salary at level of 509 grivnas. That is here again, as it is visible, the official minimum salary and the real salary exist as if in the parallel worlds. The law - in itself, and life - in itself. If to assume that 509 grivnas are only "white" part of the salary here again to people you will not envy when business will reach charge of the size of pension.

Protests will be. Not at once, but will be. Eventually, if to us won't resort to to admitting definitive acceptance of the Labour code in a variant which nowadays is in parliament, even in it there is a certain positive, by a principle "there is no disaster without good". Strengthening of a crush of employers on workers will necessarily revive at the last interest to trade unions. And trade unions rise - there will be, eventually, and at us a Labour code of protection of workers, instead of employers. Struggle still far hasn't ended.


Lesya Didkivska has told.