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Paul Murphy, MEP hosts Round Table discussion on oil workers' strike in the West of Kazakhstan


03 Oct 2011


Global Europe

Paul Murphy, MEP hosts Round Table discussion on oil workers' strike in the West of Kazakhstan - today 3 -5 pm in PHS 01C051 - oil workers and human rights defenders available for interviews on 04 and 05 October.

In July 2011, Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party, Ireland) led a GUE/NGL delegationto Kazakhstan. As part of the visit, Paul traveled to the West of Kazakhstan to meet with striking oil workers. At the height of the strike, 16.000 workers were involved in the strike to demand higher wages and better health and safety conditions. In particular, they demand the right to set up independent trade unions that defend the interests of the workers and are not dominated by a pro-government or pro-company agenda.

The strike is considered to be the most important strike movement since Kazakhstan has gained independence 20 years ago.

Striking workers have been met with severe repression, culminating in the burning down of homes, death threats and the killing of trade union activist,  Zhalsylyk Turbaev and Zhansaul Karabaaeva, the 18 year old daughter of Kudaibergen Karabakaed, another srike activist.

In Kazakhstan, Paul Murphy publicly spoke out in support of the striking workers. This was met with a slander campaign against Paul Murphy by the Kazakh authorities.

In a communication  from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Delegation tot the Republic of Kazakhstan declares. " The Republic of Kazakhstan has the right to declare the abovementioned officials (referring to Paul Murphy and his political advisor) as persona non grata."

All the relevant documents that highlight the slander campaign against Paul Murphy are attached to this e-mail and include the communication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the reply from Mr Paolo Bartolozzi, MEP and Chair of the Central Asia Delegation in the European Parliament, a letter from Vladimir Bobrov Co-Chairman of the same committee, and member of the Kazakhstan Parliament to the Central Asia Delegation and a reply from Paul Murphy, MEP.

EU-Kazakhstan relations are based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of energy. Kazakhstan is also part of the EU and Central Asia Strategy for a New Partnership.

At the regional level, Kazakhstan is a priority country within the European Union and Central Asia 'Strategy for a New Partnership'

Paul Murphy, MEP, Ainur Kurmanow (chair of the Socialist Movement Kazakhstan and human rights defender), Yessenbek Uktesbayev (chair of the independent trade union Zhanarty) , Muktar Umbetov (Member of the Negotiating Committee of the striking oil workers) are available for interviews.

Please contact the office of Paul Murphy on 0228 -47836 or Paul Murphy directly on +353 861688050.


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