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Trade unions are mass public organizations that unite workers of all professions, aiming to protect their economic, socio-cultural rights, and interests. They play a crucial role in ensuring social justice, an effective and humane economy, and the prosperity of society as a whole. In Kazakhstan, the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FTURK) is the largest and most representative organization of workers, with a membership of around two million people. This paper examines the role of trade unions in Kazakhstan, their achievements, and the challenges they face in the current socio-political climate.

Key aspects of trade unions in Kazakhstan include:

- Legal framework: Trade unions in Kazakhstan operate within the framework of the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Professional Unions" (2014), which defines trade unions as public associations aimed at representing and protecting the labor and social and economic rights and interests of their members.

- Regional and sectoral organizations: Trade unions in Kazakhstan are organized on a regional, sectoral, and global basis, with formal institutional relations linking them.

- Workplace representatives: Unions train workplace representatives to assist members with job-related issues and advocate for improved working conditions and salaries.

- Achievements: Trade unions have significantly influenced society by advocating for measures such as improved parental leave, equality legislation, better protection for migrant workers, and the national minimum wage. They have also contributed to the elimination of child labor, improved worker safety, and the reduction of working hours.

- Challenges: In recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of trade unions, union density, and union membership in both industrialized and emerging nations, including Kazakhstan. The trade union movement in Kazakhstan has faced serious oppression, with a regressive law on trade unions adopted in 2014 and direct attacks on independent unions in 2017.

Despite these challenges, trade unions in Kazakhstan continue to advocate for workers' rights and interests, working closely with regional and sectoral trade union groups. The FTURK, as the most significant trade union organization in the country, plays a vital role in shaping the socio-economic protection, labor law, and labor protection policies in Kazakhstan.

Article Details

Author Biography



Khoja Akhmet Yassawi International Kazakh-Turkish University, Turkestan, Kazakhstan


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