Consolidation under Way: Capacity-building Seminar for the CIS Employers' Representatives

In co-operation with the Manufacturing Association of Israel, the Bureau for Employers’ Activities organized in Israel on 11 - 19 November a seminar for employers' representatives from eight countries of the Community of Independent States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation and Uzbekistan.

News | 11 November 2003
The workshop demonstrated that the organizations in these countries, hardly known a decade ago, had made tremendous progress. To a certain extent, this was a result of networking among these organizations themselves. What has also promoted the development was the support by international and foreign employers’ organizations like the one in Israel. The Bureau for Employers' Activities, a substantial part of the International Labour Organization, works closely with the International Organization of Employers (IOE) and its member-organizations.

The workshop covered the most important issues employers' are facing today: how to develop a modern social security system, how to fix wages, how to collaborate with trade unions? The two visits to local enterprises demonstrated very important elements of employers’ organization work. Those are the member-companies that formulate and build the basis of the national employers' network. The majority of the participants agreed that employers in the countries in transition - in this aspect - have still a long way to go. According to the CIS employers’ representatives, regional network and representation are among the weakest points of their organizations. The participants also agreed that the experience of the host country was extremely valuable and relevant for their work.

Whilst in market-economies direct negotiations among employers' and their organizations play an important role, employers’ initiatives and activities in the IS-countries take place mainly within tripartite bodies. Yet in the CIS there are important core elements where Social Partnership can be developed within a given set of rules and advices. The ILO can support employers within the decent-work approach in order to use their potential to contribute to social partnership development.

The workshop gave clear evidence that the organizations in the sub-region are not only willing, but also able to do so. In most of the countries, employers' organizations have entered a phase of consolidation. Workshops like the one in Israel are a good instrument to support this process.