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Protecting the rights and interests of workers in the Caspian region: the first transnational trade union conversation

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On September 24, 2019 in Istanbul, was held for the first time a trade union meeting on labor and environmental issues in the field of the Caspian oil and gas resources development.
The meeting was organized by the IndustriALL Global Union, which unites the unions of the countries of the Caspian region, including the ROGWU. The representatives of other Unions like trade union of Georgia, Industri Energi (Norway) and Petrol-Is (Turkey). Their participation in these negotiations is due to the concentration of interests in the Caspian region of many oil and gas companies representing more than two dozen states of the world.
The participants raised a wide range of issues related to the general problems of the energy sector in the world and new challenges for trade unions, dwelling separately on the Caspian region and the activities of oil and gas companies in connection with the development of its subsoil. At the same time, emphasis was placed on issues of labor protection during offshore development, work safety and environmental safety issues in the Caspian, as well as the role of Global Unions in solving them.
During the discussion, the ROGWU Vice President Vladimir Kosovich informed the participants about the main provisions of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea signed by the heads of the five Caspian littoral states in August 2018, highlighting some of its norms on issues of exploration and development of bottom and subsoil resources. In addition, Vladimir Kosovich provided detailed information on the activities of the Russian company PJSC Lukoil in the development of the Caspian Sea fields for more than two decades, including issues such as environmental safety, creating comfortable working and relaxing conditions for staff, staff training in safe work practices and others.
Separately, the meeting participants noted the importance of joint actions within the framework of the resigned Global Framework Agreement (GFA) between PJSC Lukoil, the IndustriALL Global Union, the ROGWU and the trade union of PJSC Lukoil in 2018. The global framework agreement leads to greater efficiency in addressing several labor protection and environmental safety issues that arise both for employers and for employees of companies operating in the Caspian region. The representatives of the trade unions also agreed on the urgent need to conclude a similar global framework agreement with other companies involved in development of the Caspian oil and gas resources.
At the end of the meeting, all participants agreed that since the topic of the ‘Caspian region’ requires a deeper, more detailed discussion, further negotiations with the help of IndustriALL Global Union are important and needed.


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