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Trade unions protest against new labour bill

"Even coronavirus would die working like this."

The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FTUU) has protested against a new government bill on labour which is expected to be heard in parliament soon.

The event called "A wave of wreath" took place outside the government office in Kyiv and brought together around 1,000 people who blocked traffic in Hrushevskyy Street, according to the FTUU website.

Some protesters were holding mini-banners looking like "red cards" to express their disagreement with the government which, as they believe, is proposing regulations which contradict the constitution and ruin their job guarantees.

"Even coronavirus would die working like this," one of the posters reads.

According to Ukrinform, similar rallies were held in Zaporizhzhya, Mykolayiv, Vinnytsya and Kryvyy Rih.

The current Labour Code was first adopted in 1971 and has had numerous amendments since.

The government wants to replace it with a new law "On labour".

Economy Minister Tymofiy Milovanov, who has been lobbying hard for the law, insists that it will move labour relations into legal domain.

In particular, the bill foresees that labour relations must be registered in writing; introduces seven types of job contracts and flexible working hours (freelance, remote work); guarantees a redundancy payment from one to six salaries if an employee is dismissed at the initiative of an employer.

The authorities denied rumours that the bill legalizes forced labour and extra hours, that it cancels preferences for pregnant women and mothers or downgrades the role of trade unions.

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