Dialogue: Trade Unions - Public organizations in the framework of the program “Promotion growth, enforcing rights: women in the labor market”
On October 4, 2018 the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia together with the OXYGEN Foundation held discussions on the theme “Promotion growth, enforcing rights: women in the labour market”.
The meeting was attended by the chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia Edward Tumasyan, the deputy chairman of the CTUA Boris Kharatyan, the chairmen of the branch unions of the CTUA, representatives of the legal and socio-economic departments of the CTUA, the president of the OXYGEN foundation Margarita Hakopyan, the representative of the GSP + program in Armenia Ruben Sarukhanyan, the deputy chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Hungary Gorgi Zoltan Karolin, Chairwoman of the Polish Coalition Network "Karat" for the protection of women's rights Kinga Janut Novik Lohman.
Opening the meeting, the chairman of the CTUA E. Tumasyan noted that the experience of the organizations participating in this meeting will improve the efficiency of the CTUA’s activity.
Margarita Hakopyan, the Chairwoman of the OXYGEN Foundation, noted that the goal of the program is to find out how effectively the provisions of the conventions on the protection of workers' rights, as well as the provisions of 27 international conventions on nature protection, ratified by Armenia in the framework of the GSP + program, are being implemented.
The representative of GSP + Armenia Ruben Sarukhanyan in his speech raised the issue of fulfilling its international obligations under the GSP + program by Armenia, and also spoke about the problems connected with this program.
The deputy chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Hungary Gorgi Zoltan Karolyn presented information on the mechanisms which increase the role of trade unions in his country, the minimum wage of skilled workers and the minimum consumer basket, as well as the restriction of the right to strike for public servants. He also noted that by the decision of the government the minimum wage equaled the size of the minimum consumer basket.
The chairwoman of the Polish coalition network "Karat" for the protection of women's rights of King Janut Novika Lohman presented to the meeting participants the results of cooperation of trade unions and public organizations in Poland.
The deputy chairman of the CTUA Boris Kharatyan informed the audience about the absence of mechanisms to determine the size of the minimum wage, the minimum consumer basket and the minimum consumer budget in Armenia , and also touched on the issues of strikes and their holding.
Ms. King Januta Novika Lohman showed interest in the problems of women and in the activity of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Armenia in solving these problems. The chairwoman of the CTUA Council Committee on Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men, the lawyer of the Republican Branch Union of Trade Union Organizations of Education and Science workers Elen Manaseryan said in her speech that the commission she is in charge for deals with the issues of women problems in Armenia and it works closely with all interested organizations operating in Armenia.
Gayane Armaganova, the chairwoman of the Republican Union of Professional Organizations of Health Workers spoke about the long-term experience of cooperation between trade unions and public organizations, noting that trade unions' activities in this area are limited, because health workers often try not to voice problems existing in their branch because of the fear of losing their jobs. Nevertheless, she does not exclude the prospects of cooperation with public organizations.
According to the chairwoman of the Branch Republican Union of Professional Organizations of Cultural Workers Zhanneta Torosyan, the long-term experience of cooperation with public organizations gives her the right to say that with their superficial attitude towards the activities of trade unions some public organizations try to diminish the work of trade unions, believing that the only function of trade unions is to organize strikes.
The chairman of the Republican Branch Union of Professional Organizations of the Light Industry Workers Srapyon Arakelyan also expressed his concern about the lack of awareness of some public organizations about the activities of trade unions.
Summing up the meeting the president of the OXYGEN Foundation Margarita Hakopyan expressed the hope that frequent meetings and an exchange of views would promote further close cooperation between the government, trade unions, employers and public organizations.