The beginning of a new era in the history of Uzbekistan – this assessment is given by the world community to the reforms and reforms being carried out in the country. Renewal in socio-economic, socio-political, humanitarian and other spheres ensures the integration of our state into the international community. The republic attracts the attention of the whole world, moving from closeness to open pragmatic politics. These actions, undoubtedly, require reforming the rules and regulations that were in effect before, and their compliance with world standards. It is these aspects that are envisaged by the initiative of the Federation of Trade Unions, with the participation of partner organizations, of the conference “Strategy for Action and Strong Social Policy: International Practice and Experience of Uzbekistan”.
It should be noted that Uzbekistan has accumulated sufficient experience, cooperation of the state and private partnership has been established. In particular, this is a targeted redistribution of resources among citizens, and social security, protection and assistance occupy a central place in the social policy system.
In the country, the human factor is the highest value. This is confirmed by the principle of “People are not tomorrow, not in the distant future, but they want to see positive changes in their lives” put forward by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and the transformation of this principle into the priority direction of the country’s current policy.
In the course of implementing this principle, the humane policy pursued in the country brings new content to people’s lives. In particular, the program adopted in the light of people’s needs for the construction of affordable housing in rural areas on the updated model projects changed people’s views on life and work. In accordance with the program in 2017, typical and multi-storey houses with a total area of more than 3.5 million square meters were built in towns and villages. A program of construction of 945 multi-storey apartment houses in cities in 2017-2020 was developed. In Tashkent, the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional centers and large cities for low-income families will be built 50 thousand affordable apartments in multi-storey buildings. In 2017, apartment buildings with a total area of more than 800 thousand square meters were erected and commissioned. Construction and commissioning in Tashkent alone of residential buildings with a total area of 420 thousand square meters indicate the scale of the work begun. However, it is incorrect to consider that ensuring the welfare of the population is limited only by the solution of housing issues. For many years in the social sphere, dozens of other kinds of problems have accumulated, hampering the normal life of people.
One of the urgent tasks, especially in rural areas, is the implementation of programs to expand and modernize water supply networks. At the present time, within the framework of the special program, work is underway to lay water pipelines with a length of nine thousand kilometers, construction and reconstruction of 1,400 wells and 3,600 waterworks. This will additionally provide 3.2 million people in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Andijan, Jizzakh, Navoi, Syrdarya, Samarkand, Tashkent and Khorezm regions with clean drinking water and increase the population satisfaction rate from 64 to 84 percent. To solve these problems, the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services has been established in the country, and the “Sof Ichimlik Suvi” (Clean Drinking Water) fund has been established under the Ministry of Finance.
Another long-term problem is roads. This issue is also solved at the state level. Based on the program for the development of road and transport infrastructure and regional and local roads, construction and reconstruction of public roads with a length of
1,7 thousand kilometers, the capital and current repair of inter-farm rural roads with a length of 10,4 thousand kilometers, road coverings of city streets, district centers, urban-type settlements, rural settlements.
Based on the program to improve transport services in cities and villages, 74 bus terminals and bus stations will be reconstructed in the near future. This will create additional comfort for passengers and ensure their safety. Three thousand new modern buses, 5,7 thousand minibuses were bought. Accordingly, more than 300 new bus routes will be established.
In order to develop the infrastructure of air and railway lines, work is underway to build a new terminal at the Tashkent International Airport, the construction and electrification of railway lines.
The head of our state repeatedly repeats that our main goal is the satisfaction of people’s needs. These sincere words very accurately reflect our national social policy. Thanks to the historical transformations the state became closer to the people, it finally became to work for the people. The activities of the Virtual and People’s Reception of the President of the country are at the center of attention and study of the entire world community. Their work is aimed at implementing reforms in the fields of education, health, the social sector, the hopes and aspirations of the whole people. The creation of the Ministry of Preschool Education has become a new mechanism in the system of state administration of our republic. In parallel, the systems of higher and secondary education are developing, which creates a solid foundation for the further development of Uzbekistan, the employment of its worthy place in the world community. In a word, transformations can be observed in all spheres.
In turn, the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan, forming activities on the basis of the State Program for the Implementation of the Strategy for Action in the Year of Active Business, Innovative Ideas and Technologies, makes a significant contribution to the development of the country. Of course, foreign experience plays an important role here. We need to actively adopt positive and relevant to our mentality, foreign experience, to create a mechanism for the practical implementation of the concept of “consumer basket.”
According to the program, work will be carried out to gradually increase real incomes of the population, wages, pensions and social benefits, to prevent a sharp rise in prices for consumer goods and services on the market.
Important tasks are the expansion of the system of training of people in demand on the labor market, the vocational training of the unemployed, the wide coverage of the able-bodied population by upgrading and retraining. Proceeding from this, the programs of the Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan define the tasks of trade unions in the social sphere. According to them, social guarantees and activities in the sphere of social protection of workers are aimed at:
implementation of the measures provided for in legislative documents for the support and social protection of the needy strata of the population;
cooperation with state bodies, employers in implementing systemic measures for the social support of single elderly citizens, pensioners, disabled people, children with disabilities, low-income and large families;
development and implementation of social protection measures for individuals engaged in non-traditional forms of employment (working in the informal sector, temporary and seasonal workers, etc.) and their families;
social protection of pensioners, invalids, minors, single elderly people, other categories of citizens who are particularly in need of social protection;
development and wide application of the concepts “Corporate Social Responsibility” and “Socially Responsible Enterprise”.
In the process of implementing these tasks, measures of material support for low-income families, large families, pensioners, veterans of war and labor will be applied on the basis of collective agreements and agreements.
In 2017 trade unions organized trips to historical cities and landmarks of the republic for 3,073 veterans of labor and elderly citizens, 592 lonely citizens and disabled people were paid utility bills. In connection with the public holidays in the houses of mercy “Muruvvat” and “Sahovat” cultural and educational activities were held, their guests were given household appliances, clothes, personal hygiene products worth 136.4 million soums.
On the basis of collective agreements and agreements, 110,000 senior members of the senior generation were provided material support to employers and trade unions in the amount of 41.9 billion soums.
At the expense of the State budget, 2,366 veterans of the war and the labor front, 7,385 working pensioners and parents of trade union members, on a preferential basis, were healthy in the sanatoriums of the trade union system, 344 pensioners worked for free health.
In the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interest, held within the framework of the Strategy of Action, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of February 7, 2017, on the five priority development directions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021, the unions, together with non-governmental non-profit organizations, went to places for direct study and problem solution.
Trade unions visited 2 million 160 thousand houses in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Bukhara, Jizzakh, Navoi, Samarkand, Syrdarya and Khorezm regions, studied the life of ordinary people. During the meetings, about 650,000 problems were identified, measures for solving 556,500 of them were developed.
Within the framework of the charitable action to support low-income and needy families in April-May 2017, trade unions held sunnat-thirds for 3,280 children and weddings for 616 young couples.
The Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan in 2017-2018 implements a number of targeted programs aimed at social protection of low-income segments of the population. In particular, on the basis of lists drawn up by the relevant working groups, interest-based preferential loans were given to low-income families wishing to engage in handicrafts, entrepreneurship, to purchase personal household land, to raise cattle or poultry for economic support to the family. Hundreds of families in need of repair have been repaired, thousands of households have been provided with household appliances, hundreds of citizens who need medical help have been rehabilitated. This year, work continues in this direction.
One of the types of social assistance is providing the population with medicines – the Federation of Trade Unions coordinates as a particularly responsible and serious task. By now, 2,000 “social pharmacies” are involved in remote areas and villages of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and the Khorezm region, which eliminated some difficulties in the lives of the population of remote areas. Now this experience is envisaged in all districts and villages of the republic.
In its activities, the federation is not limited to labor relations between the employer and the employee. The Federation is directly involved in social reforms. And in this sense, Uzbekistan is ready to promote the accumulated experience among the world community, discuss the most important problems of the world community, share effective solutions in their solution.
At present, the following tasks are relevant for the republic:
Improvement of labor legislation on streamlining labor and social relations;
expanding fundamental principles and rights at work by introducing a 40-hour workweek, annual paid leave, protecting maternity and the basic rights of migrant workers;
observance of the principle of equal pay for workers of transnational corporations;
restoration of scientifically based labor standards;
taking into account the authority of the ILO to review the role of other international institutions in the world of work, the more effective use of the monitoring mechanism and the possibilities for technical cooperation within the ILO;
improve access to vocational education throughout life;
precise delineation of the scope of actions of state bodies, trade unions and tripartite institutions in the management of the sphere of labor;
strict control over minimum standards of remuneration of labor, norms of working time and rest;
the introduction of digitalization of labor contracts;
spread of social protection to all forms of non-traditional employment;
revision of the role of social partnership in the field of labor management with a view to solving the problems of the legal representation of trade unions and employers’ associations in tripartite structures.