In this paper we want to analyze the processes and trends in the labor movement of Kazakhstan throughout modern history since 1991, in order to learn from this and to set ourselves and the workers the next task.
The working class of Kazakhstan was not speechless and resisted even in the most adverse conditions of deindustrialization, privatization, unleashed repression and political assassinations. The fact that Kazakhstan has now established the most anti-labor laws in the post-Soviet space, independent trade unions are actually banned, the right to strike and peaceful assemblies is taken away from workers, speaks of the degree of bitterness of the bourgeois dictatorship, which has repeatedly fallen to terrorist methods in order to break the resistance of oilmen, metallurgists and miners.
The most massive and prolonged strike in the former Soviet Union occurred in Western Kazakhstan in 2011, when oil workers held out for almost eight months with the support of the local population and the unemployed and were able to put forward political demands for the nationalization of large-scale industry under the control of workers and called for a General strike with the slogan of the resignation of the President and the government. This strike was drowned in blood when a peaceful workers ' rally was shot by police in Zhanaozen.
We want to show the evolution of the political consciousness of the advanced working class groups in the restoration of capitalism and the establishment of an open bourgeois dictatorship, when all independent trade unions were banned and the oldest Communist party of Kazakhstan was liquidated by the court. We need to understand whether there are prospects for the revival of the organized labor movement, to concretize the role of Communists in this process.
The emergence of the labor movement at the end of the USSR
Of course, it is necessary to begin the modern history of the labor movement of Kazakhstan and the former Soviet republics since the late 80-ies. It was this period that became a turning point in the history of the Soviet Union and ended with the counter-revolutionary coup of 1991, and later with the full restoration of capitalism.
"Perestroika," "glasnost," "democratization" in the hands of the ruling group were the tools to loosening of the political monopoly of the Communist party, the dismantling of state ideology and conduct of the first major market transformation aimed at the destruction of the planned economy. The contradictions inherent in the times of the " Kosygin reforms " of the 60s and early 70s, where some bourgeois methods were admitted to the socialist economy, caused inevitable crisis phenomena in the 80's, which came to power group led by Gorbachev eventually offered to resolve through "political liberalization" and through the admission of market mechanisms, which inevitably led to disaster.
The socialist system was also undermined by the so - called "shadow economy" - a real cancer, when some of the most popular goods and products were withdrawn from circulation, creating a situation of acute artificial shortage in the country, and then sold on the black market at completely different prices. This created the economic basis for the emergence of the first bourgeois elements, which was supported by the emergence of cooperatives and the actual assumption of the diversity of forms of ownership, which was ideologically justified by various theories of "market socialism" and "socialism with a human face."
Such phenomena as the gradual growth of social inequality, has caused fair indignation of the workers of the Soviet Union, which resulted in the holding of the first mass strikes, the appearance of strike committees, workers ' clubs, associations and so on. The most significant have been the miners ' strike of 1989-1990, which involved the entire regions of the RSFSR, the Ukrainian and the Kazakh SSR. Many historians, researchers and the current Communists believe these statements, and especially the miners ' strike, one of the main political instruments of the destruction of the USSR and planned economy, as the miners almost a "counter-revolutionary guard" more pro-market and young top layer of the Communist party led by Yeltsin.
There is a great deal of truth in this, but initially, and even in the later period, the bulk of the workers who participated in the strikes did not oppose socialism and, moreover, did not advocate the destruction of the USSR. The demands were of an economic nature and concerned the increase of wages, improvement of working conditions, solving the problem of shortage of goods and products, that is, improving the supply of mining regions, as well as partially the issues of reforming the planned economy in the direction of improving its efficiency. That is, the strikes were in the end a reaction to the anti-socialist measures of the government, destroying the planned economy. And groups Gorbachev and Yeltsin mainly issued their counter-revolutionary proposals and thoughts under the sauce of the need for "reform of socialism", the return of "Lenin's principles" and "democracy of the Soviets", etc.
The same demagogy, but with a share of "self-reliance", was used by the first Secretary of the Communist party of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev during his visits to the striking Karaganda in 1989, where for a short time even housed the Central headquarters of the Independent trade Union of Miners of the USSR headed by Karaganda Gennady Ozorovsky. Then, through various promises of concessions, Nazarbayev also openly expressed dissatisfaction with the "monopoly power of Center" and put forward ideas of economic independence, independent of the dictate of the center and the command and administrative plan. In fact, these proposals actually meant the destruction of the national economic mechanism and the involvement of extractive industries in the "free market". That is, in this example it is clear that it was the top who introduced in practice then alien to socialism ideas and views, and not workers who were mostly faithful to Communist ideas.
However, the fact remains that the labor movement at that time did not become an independent force, and politically disarmed workers were unable to fulfill the historical role to prevent the restoration of capitalism and prevent a counter-revolutionary coup. Then showed himself to the classical scheme, when no political party, the labor movement turned blind, especially in a situation of ideological and organizational disintegration of the leadership of the Communist party, and some labor leaders and brigades of workers were even in the next toy in the fight of alien social forces. A new Marxist and Communist groups in the Communist party could not take over leadership of the strike movement, and the protests of miners in the Kuzbass and Vorkuta, in the end, saddled the group headed by Yeltsin. This determined the fate of the Soviet Union.
It was then that the independent trade Union of Miners of the USSR (NPG) appeared, which determined the creation on its basis in the 90s of the so-called "free trade unions" and became a relay of purely liberal and even right-wing ideas in the labor movement in order to neutralize it and submit to the tasks of complete dismantling of the planned economy, privatization, the introduction of private property. The fate of the leaders of the strike and mining movement of Kuzbass is also remarkable, many of whom, after the collapse of the USSR, took places in private mining companies and corporations, that is, they themselves became capitalists or took various positions in the local Yeltsin administration. As a result, there was a metamorphosis when the same bribed "fiery figures" of the miner's movement in every possible way suppressed the strike of their comrades already in 1998, directed against Yeltsin and plans to privatize the industry.
Heavy sobering up after the restoration of capitalism and different ways of working movement
In Kazakhstan, the development of the labor movement had its own specifics, but it also reflected the General trends that took place throughout the USSR. On the one hand, with the active participation of Western trade centers, there is the creation of the same "free trade unions", the leadership of which eventually supported the processes of restoration of capitalism, and on the other hand, there is the formation of other structures under the influence of the Communists and the left, all whose activities were directed against the processes of privatization, non-payment of wages, reduction of living standards and destruction of production.
The remaining mass organizations of the former soviet VTSPS "Kazsovprof", transformed into the Federation of trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, were mainly demoralized and held a wait-and-see position. But the privatization process and the widespread elimination of jobs also prompted them in the mid-1990s to intensify protests, until 1997, until they were completely put under the personal control of President Nazarbayev.
At the end of 80-ies, as in many republics of the USSR, Kazakhstan appeared on the basis of mass mining strikes the first free Association of workers-a group of Independent trade Unions of Miners (NPG), which were mainly concentrated in the Central regions and in particular in the Karaganda region. On their basis, the Association "Birlesu" (Unity) is created, which is transformed in 1994 into the Confederation of Free trade Unions of Kazakhstan (KSPK).
KSPK branches were established in five regions, four industry associations were formed: the Association of flight personnel, the Union of miners of the Republic, the Union of health workers, the Union of education workers, as well as 86 trade unions from different industries and spheres. In the early 90-ies of the KSPK, has become a truly alternative Association, which to some extent influenced the revival of individual trade Union associations of the Federation of trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FPRK - the former Republican VTSPS), whose leaders have taken a fairly active position in protecting the interests of labor collectives.
In parallel, there was a combat and radical left-wing Labor Movement of Kazakhstan, which became a stronghold of the Communists and the left forces. It was created on the basis of the Workers ' movement of Almaty, which arose in 1990, bringing together representatives of the majority of enterprises and institutions of Almaty and actually already then became the coordinator and the center of consolidation of working organizations of all Kazakhstan. July 19, 1993 the founding Congress of the Workers ' Movement of Kazakhstan "Solidarity" (RDKS). With this movement involves a number of major strikes and protests of different branches in Almaty, Uralsk, Karaganda, Ust-Kamenogorsk and in southern Kazakhstan in the beginning, the middle and at the end of 90-ies.
RDKS worked together with grass-roots activists of both KSPK and branch associations of FPRK, trying to create a United front of workers from below against the plans of the government of Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who pursued a policy of total privatization, destruction of the social security system in the framework of the so-called "shock therapy". A serious success of this work was the creation in 1995 of the Republican strike Committee, which was organized by the leading industry associations of the Federation of trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan and regional associations of the RDKS. Co-chair of RDKS Madel Ismailov was elected as Vice-chair of the Committee.
The role of the Communist party of Kazakhstan (KPK), whose members did not agree with the fraudulent decision to rename the party, should be emphasized in this case. On December 6, 1991, the Communists held their 19th (restoration) Congress of the KPK in Almaty. It is noteworthy that in December 1991, that is, from the very beginning, the restored Communist Party of Kazakhstan opposed the election of President Nursultan Nazarbayev in non-alternative elections, as well as the first loudly opposed the plans of market reforms and mass privatization in the country.
It is the leading role of active communists in the Workers ' Movement of Kazakhstan "Solidarity" and defined its militant and successful promotion among the working ideas about the need to conduct a political struggle against the government in order to prevent the processes of mass privatization, closure of production and increase the cost of utilities. It is characteristic that in those years in the Bureau of the KPK Central Committee members of the Labor movement of Kazakhstan were the majority. The Central printing body of the KPK Central Committee was the newspaper "Workers ' Life".
However, the then nascent structures of the labor movement and trade unions were undermined by the destruction of entire industries, mainly engineering, metalworking, non-ferrous metallurgy, military plants, as well as giants of light and food industries. The process of the emergence of capitalism in Kazakhstan was accompanied by a massive de-industrialization and increasing repression, when in 1995 after the dissolution of the two parliaments the country has turned into a super-presidential bourgeois Republic, headed by Nursultan Nazarbayev. It was a targeted attack on the Soviet working class, that is, on the main masses of Russian-speaking workers in the cities, which could potentially become the base of the political opposition.
The destruction of large – scale industry, as a result of the collapse of the former national economy and the mass privatization of 95-97 years, caused processes of a socially catastrophic nature, as a result of which entire industries ceased to exist, and several thousand large enterprises ceased to exist. This led to the degradation of entire regions, the emergence of 60 Ghost towns, mass unemployment, which reached 30 per cent of the country's working-age population (4 million self-employed by 1998) and the departure of about 1.5 million people, including many skilled workers and professionals of different nationalities. These processes were accompanied by the elimination of all social guarantees, benefits and the old Soviet labour legislation.
In the first half of the 1990s, Kazakhstan, like all new States, experienced a deep economic crisis. The country's GDP in 1992-1995 decreased by an average of 18.7% compared to 1991. The fall in production covered all sectors of the economy (table 5. 1) (1). The output of agricultural products in Kazakhstan decreased by 28.8%, the decline in industry was 32% 6. The reasons for this catastrophic decline were due to the disintegration of the country and the rupture of most economic ties between the republics. In the 1990s. the production of coal and electricity has decreased significantly (table 5.2), largely due to the economic downturn in Russia and the transition in mutual settlements to the hard currency, which was sorely lacking in the countries. In the early 90-ies. intensified began in the late 80-ies. the outflow of the Russian-speaking population in Russia and other republics. In 1989-1996 net migration from the country amounted to 7.9% of the population.
Table 5.1. Main macroeconomic indicators of Kazakhstan in 1991-1999, in % to 1991
This was another reason for the collapse of industry in the first half of the 1990s.in 2000, the country had 1.5 million people less than in 1991 (table 5.2). At the same time, the share of the poor has increased dramatically. In 1998, 39% of the population had incomes below the subsistence level (2).
This decline, on the one hand, and state repression, on the other, have dealt a severe blow to all the advanced trade unions and workers ' organizations in the country, many of which have also ceased to exist. This process was facilitated by the mistakes and anti-labor actions of the trade Union leaders themselves, which led to discrediting the idea of an organized labor movement and to the final rebirth of the top of the then existing trade Union associations. For example, in the Wake of anti-communist and neoliberal sentiments among some miners, the leadership of the KSPK has been in close contact with the leadership of the American trade unions of the AFL-CIO since 1992, and began to promote the ideas of depoliticization of workers ' organizations and support for market experiments of the government. This was reflected in the open support of the KSPK leader Leonid Solomin for the adoption by the government of the new pension legislation in 1996, which copied the Chilean model of pension provision and destroyed the solidarity system in the country.
Inconsistency and refusal of active offensive actions on the part of the leadership of the KSPK, led to the closure of many regional trade unions, and the leaders of the Union of miners of the city of Kentau were repressed. This led to the fact that, by the end of the 1990s, virtually all unions of the Union had become small groups. The arrival of Siyazbek Mukashev, a personal friend of the President, who was interested in controlling the country's trade unions and preventing workers ' protests, in 1997, changed the balance of power in the former Soviet associations of the VTSPS, where the most conservative and interested in cooperation with Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and the authorities finally took over.
All these events have led to divisions and to the exclusion of the most active and radical activists of grass-roots trade unions. Thus, at the initiative of the trade Union of machine-building workers, which is part of the FPRK, the most advanced trade Union of a large defense plant "Metalist" in Uralsk was liquidated in 2002, which entered into an irreconcilable struggle against the privatization and destruction of the enterprise by the government. In 2001, nine trade unions announced their secession from the FPRK, stating that the leadership of the Federation was completely disintegrated, its propensity only to financial market activities on the basis of trade Union property and the usurpation of power. However, these leading trade unions have not been able to create an alternative structure. Earlier in the late 90-ies there was a split in the Union of coal miners. When the Karaganda coal mine and steel mill came in 1996 as a result of privatization into the hands of TNCs "Arcelor Mittal", and the 8 trade Union committees of the mines formed their own corporate trade Union of the Coal Department of "Korgau" ("Protection").
The trade Union of workers of motor transport and civil aviation headed by Murat Mashkenov, who left the FPRK, together with the Deputy of Parliament Serik Abdrakhmanov and the former head of the KSPK Leonid Solomin created in 2003 the Confederation of Labor of Kazakhstan (KTK). But this Association didn't show the activity and fighting spirit till today. Leaders of the political movement of workers from the RDKS, were in the late 90s and early 2000s in prison, and ordinary activists were subjected to repression and mass layoffs. At various times under the rink of repression and arrests were Yuri Vinkov, Madel Ismailov, Ainur Kurmanov, Saken Zhunusov, Anatoly Medvedev, Denis Danilevsky, Vladimir Karachev, Gennady Nikitin and many others.
In fact, by 2007, the movement had ceased to exist, as had a number of independent trade unions and organizations. In fact, deindustrialization, and the raw material nature of the economy led to the destruction of the old - can even say- "Soviet labor movement."
New rise of the labor movement in 2008-2011
The first call for the start of a new upsurge in the labor movement in Kazakhstan was the mass strike of coal miners of the Arcelor Mittal Temirtau coal Department in the autumn of 2006, which showed that a new young generation of the working class and already in the extractive industries, which were in the hands of foreign corporations after the process of mass privatization, was entering the arena. At the end of 2007, there will be another major strike already at the giant for the extraction and smelting of copper, zinc, gold, tin and silver of the Kazakhmys Corporation, when the miners of a number of mines refuse to come to the surface. This raw material model of capitalism will determine the future nature of the new labor movement.
It is then that the idea of forming a new independent trade Union center will begin to gain popularity in the youth working environment. Actually, it is this new generation of workers from 20 to 30 years, who came to production after the restoration of capitalism and will be the driving force of the subsequent mass strikes and interested in the emergence of new organizational and political forms of the labor movement. Especially these ideas were developed with the beginning of the crisis of 2008, which spread from the financial sector to the real sector of the economy and affected hundreds of thousands of workers in various industries, provoked a new wave of layoffs, wage cuts or non-payment of such, as well as a new process of deindustrialization, that is, the curtailment of production and closure of enterprises. In addition, the exploitation of workers in mining corporations has increased. This led to the emergence from below of new informal initiative groups, strike committees, and independent trade unions, which began to work on consolidation.
The real surge of the new labor movement is the mass strikes and speeches of oil workers of the Mangystau region of Western Kazakhstan since the autumn of 2008, which for many years will become the vanguard of the entire labor movement. The most revealing and striking was the gripping two-week strike of two thousand drillers of "Burgylau" LLP, who demanded the nationalization of their enterprise and its return back to the state company. Then against the leaders and activists of the independent trade Union were used special forces of the KNB (NSC), but because of the active resistance and support of other teams in the industry, many of the economic demands of the strikers were then met.
However, due to numerous publications in the media, the very slogan of nationalization and working control is becoming the most popular in the working environment and very contagious. It begins to put forward workers striking enterprises in completely different industries and the first labor collective of the Almaty car Repair plant during the seizure strike in July 2009. From this year, noting the considerable number of labour conflicts, the gripper strikes, overlapping of streets, the formation of action groups and strike committees, to secede from the Federation of trade unions and "yellow" unions of the hundreds of workers that became a significant phenomenon. In fact, 2009 was a year of revival of organizational forms of the workers 'movement, when various disparate groups of workers' activists from different regions began to show a desire to unite, and in Almaty was formed coordination and information center to facilitate this process.
The first agreement on work in this direction was reached at a meeting of trade Union activists in may 2009 in Almaty. At that time, an agreement was reached on the establishment of a permanent information center to promote the working movement and its own information resources. In 2009, the created center, which was organized by the socialists and the left, organized and conducted solidarity campaigns with strikes and performances at the Almaty car Repair plant, AZTM, LLP "Burgylau", the November hunger strike of oil workers "Ozenmunaigaz", supported the struggle of scientists against the privatization of the research Institute and workers of the Karabulak sugar factory, as well as workers of the may day Mechanical Plant, who entered into confrontation with ATF Bank.
At the end of February 2010 in Almaty, representatives of individual independent trade unions of the kspk, representatives of the grassroots cells of the fprk, leaders of new trade Union groups and organizations, as well as the movement to assist workers in the fight for their rights from Almaty, Taldy-Korgan, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semipalatinsk, Pavlodar, Kostanay, Kokshetau, Shymkent, Taraz, Karaganda, Dzhezkazgan, Aktau and Aktobe held their second meeting, where it was decided to establish an organizing Committee the Republican inter-sectoral trade Union. The organizing Committee consisted of 47 people, including well-known figures of the workers ' movement.
Finally, on 27 November 2010 in Almaty in the hall of the hotel "Eurasia" was held the constituent conference on creation of new work of the Republican Association "Union of workers of the industrial, public sectors and services "Zhanartu"", which was attended by hundreds of delegates from 13 regions. In particular, working leaders and activists from Aktau, Aktobe, Taraz, Shymkent, Pavlodar, Petropavlovsk, Kostanay, Kokshetau, Karaganda, Dzhezkazgan, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semipalatinsk, Almaty region and the southernmost capital arrived. Representatives of independent trade unions of the country, such as the Confederation of Labor of Kazakhstan (KTK), the Association of independent trade unions "ODAK", as well as representatives of trade unions of large factories of Almaty came to support the event.
In their statement, the participants of the conference declared the following: "the Ideological core and the new strategy of trade unions should be based not only around the issues of increasing wages and working conditions, but also in the struggle for changing the ratio of class forces in society, for changing the socio - economic course of the country, for the return to the state of enterprises and mines of the mining industry in the hands of Arcelor Mittal Temirtau (AMT), Kazakhmys Corporation, Kazzinc, Eurasian group, as the only way to preserve production, technical modernization and effective labor protection. The revision and cancellation of subsoil use contracts with foreign oil companies is a requirement of workers in the extractive industries, and the slogan of nationalization and labor control has become popular among the General public. And at the forefront is the need to return all social guarantees and rights selected by the government in the 90s" (3).
This event was more important in the revival of the labor movement, as the new inter-sectoral trade Union set the workers offensive tasks. The main objectives of the new trade Union center was the creation of these workers ' organizations formed from below, assistance in self-organization of workers who have embarked on the path of defending their rights and campaigning for the need to unite workers. Another point in the consolidation of various organizations is the task of coordinating efforts and putting forward uniform requirements for the government and employers (struggle program), the organization of Republican protest campaigns (regional strikes, demonstrations, pickets, rallies and meetings and as the highest form — a General strike).
This meant the formation of a new strategy and tactics of the labor movement, which will be based on radical offensive forms of action. And in addition to reaching agreements in the form of collective agreements and industry agreements, it was about this type of strikes that would raise workers to fight for the revision of the results of privatization and the invasion of the property rights of large corporations.
In the material of the organizers of the new trade Union movement it was written: "the Formation of new trade unions proceeds according to the following scheme. At first, there is a semi-underground process of self-organization, and at the second stage there is an open interference in the right of private property, namely the slogan of reviewing the results of privatization, nationalization and working control. But not in a schematic formal perspective, and invested in it the meaning of the control of team members for the activities of the enterprise management, the distribution of profits, contracts, allocation of funds for equipment renewal and production development" (4).
The next step after the formation of a new inter-sectoral trade Union was the creation of a political Association in the face of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan on may 7, 2011, created with the active participation of Communists, leaders and activists of trade unions and social movements. At the founding conference in Almaty, its organizers openly declared the creation of a mass workers ' party on the socialist platform in order not only to counter the counter-revolution and the forces of reaction, but also to seize power to change the entire socio-economic and political course of the country.
In many ways, these events in the form of the formation of a new trade Union center and the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan predetermined the program and goals of the mass strike of oil workers in the Mangystau region and Zhanaozen in 2011, which was a living breakdown of class forces in the country and became the highest link in the evolution of the political consciousness of workers.
Indeed, looking back, we can apply to this strike such epithets as — heroic or great, as it is the first time really shook the foundations of the current system in Kazakhstan, established after the destruction of the USSR and raised issues of property and power. Since 2009, workers in different regions have demanded the nationalization of production on their strikes, but it is in the Mangystau region that this requirement has passed through the entire strike from beginning to end.
The collectives have languished and continue to languish under the oppression of foreign capital, which is barbaric and predatory pumping out of the bowels of unaccounted millions of tons of oil, gas and minerals. At the same time, after numerous optimizations, production rates increased significantly, and wages fell due to fines and non-fulfillment of plans, and the workers themselves were forced to work on outdated and worn-out Soviet or Chinese equipment. Occupational diseases and the death of workers in the workplace have become the norm.
This is especially true of Chinese companies and managers that have held sway in the branches of the supposedly national company "KazMunayGas", in particular in JSC "MangistauMunaiGas", JSC "Karazhanbasmunaigaz", PF "Ozenmunaygaz" and others. Especially strongly from numerous optimizations and transformations workers of the auxiliary enterprises suffered then and suffer now. They were removed from primary production and transformed into allegedly self-service too. As in 2011, it is the workers of these repair and drilling companies that are now at the forefront of the struggle of oil workers, seeking the nationalization of their enterprises under the control of labor collectives.
Another important point was and remains the struggle for trade unions. Therefore, the requirement of freedom of Association has become one of the most important, and, in fact, since it began the strike in the oil fields and enterprises of JSC "Karazhanbasmunaigaz". The standoff began when Chinese managers led by Yuan Mu did not recognize the results of the extraordinary reporting and election conference in March 2011, at which workers removed from the post of Chairman of the employer's protege.
Security companies have locked up the office, cash and documents of the trade Union of JSC "Karazhanbasmunai", and members of the trade Union began armed attacks by hired gangs. As it became clear, bandits were connected with officials of regional administration and through beating and threats of use of firearms directly in the territory of carefully protected crafts (!) demanded that members of the trade Union to abandon the results of the conference.
In response, the shift teams from April began to declare mass hunger strikes in the fields with the requirement to immediately stop the terror against their comrades, one of whom burned the house. Since May 9, all the enterprises of JSC "Karazhanbasmunaigas" began an indefinite strike, which in two weeks spread to the enterprises of PF "OzenMunaiGas", where they immediately put forward the requirement of nationalization not only of service companies, but also of the entire mining industry of the country.
Of course, at first the battle started because of non-payment of coefficients and around the requirements of changing the system of remuneration, but with the increasing repression and attempts to set on the striking state employees the contents of the strike is sharply politicized. The catalyst for this was the arrest at the end of May of the lawyer of the trade Union of JSC "Karazhanbasmunaygas" Natalia Sokolova at the request of the Chinese Manager Yuan Mu, when she was accused of organizing "illegal trade Union meetings" and "inciting social discord". A week later, the leader of the workers of PF "OzenMunaiGas" Akzhanat Aminov was arrested on the same charges.
After a series of layoffs of activists, the strikers initiated a mass exit from the ruling party "Nur-Otan", where they were recorded by the administration of enterprises, as well as put forward a demand to increase wages to teachers and doctors of Zhanaozen by 60% and the immediate release of their arrested leaders. Then formed several permanent places of Assembly workers is the bus station in Aktau (regional capital), then the area of the office of JSC "Karazhanbasmunaigaz" in the same Aktau, as well as companies in the fields of PF "Ozenmunaygaz", where he continued an indefinite hunger strike. In the subsequent since July the main mass daily meetings proceeded already on the Central square of the city of Zhanaozen which is in 100 kilometers from the regional center.
In General, this strike lasted almost eight months, and it was able to hold out for so long only because it received the support of the local population, the workers of neighboring labor collectives, who constantly collected funds for the Fund of the strikers. Despite the fact that terror was unleashed against the workers ' leaders, which killed two people in the summer of 2011, many were beaten and wounded, the houses of several members of the trade Union Committee of the PF "OzenMunaiGas" were burned, the tent camp of the hungry on the territory of this company was destroyed by the police, the strike not only did not stop, but also received new impulses.
In this situation, it was obvious that at the international level and in the CIS, the strikers are supported exclusively by Communist and left-wing parties and organizations, and it was surprising to observe the absolute silence of international trade Union centers and even the leaders of the KTR against such a mass strike in Western Kazakhstan. It is possible that this has played a role lobby oil companies, when in the depths of trade Union officials of the same International Confederation of trade Unions (ITUC), striking workers tried to present in the form of some "extremists" and "Maoists".
The fact that the workers were able to continue the struggle in the situation of arrest of the leaders, put forward from their environment the second wave of leaders, on the contrary speaks of a serious class basis of the entire movement. Workers and local residents did not allow the authorities to try to divide people on ethnic grounds and the principle of settlement, as employers accused of instigating strikes oralmans, immigrants from neighboring republics.
The final turning point in the mood of the striking workers took place in October — November, among which the supporters of self-organization and independent participation in the political struggle, who supported the political program of SMK and the trade Union "Zhanartu", prevailed. In November, a new single working Committee was formed in Zhanaozen at a meeting of strikers and representatives of all neighboring fields and enterprises of the region, which led a completely different course.
Immediately at the meeting, an appeal was adopted to the workers of other extractive industries and regions to support their strike, the idea of creating a new unified Federation of class trade unions independent of employers and authorities, the formation of their own political party was put forward, distrust was expressed to all existing political parties at that time and a boycott of the parliamentary elections, which were to be held on January 15, 2012.
There was an attempt to nominate independent candidates for elections to local maslikhats from among the striking oilmen, who simply were not allowed to participate in the campaign. Several types of leaflets were issued, numerous ballots of socialists and other literature were distributed. It was established cooperation with the workers of all fields and enterprises of the region. Own press-service is created.
After the formation of the Committee, a month before the execution, an extended Skype conference of representatives of the working Committee with the participation of left and trade Union groups from other regions of the country was held, where the issue of holding a rally on December 16 with demands to the government and calling for an expansion of the strike was discussed. The subsequent draft resolution included a call for a General political strike demanding the resignation of the President and the government.
On the same day, pickets and solidarity actions were planned in different countries of the world, as well as representatives of the working Committee were sent to neighboring regions. The only thing that many could not imagine that the authorities are able and willing to go to the shooting of unarmed oil workers, ordinary residents of the city and young people who came to support the strikers. Although in October-November 2011, the interior Ministry and the Ministry of defense of Kazakhstan have already conducted" antiterrorist " exercises in the region, which was already preparing for the massacre.
As a result, on December 16-17, an oil strike and a mass movement in support of it among the local population was drowned in blood by the open shooting of protesters, mass arrests of activists, the introduction of special forces police and marine brigade of the Ministry of defense, fully equipped with American weapons and prepared by advisers from the Pentagon. This was a manifestation of open terror on the part of the bourgeois dictatorship.
Despite the shooting, scheduled a General strike gripped the entire area and lasted up to 5 days. The railroad station of Shetpe in the night of 17 December in protest against the shooting blocked traffic, causing themselves were shot at by Riot police. As a result of what according to official data one firefighter who passed to the party of protesters was lost. Few people write, but the day after the execution on December 17, on Alan (square) in Zhanaozen came five thousand people, not afraid of a new execution and arrests.
Oil workers of Zhanaozen by their form of self-organization in the working Committee, discipline, developed program of requirements and actions, call for a General political strike, showed an example and the way in which all workers of Kazakhstan should move. It is the capital and class experience gained working-class movement of the country, and you would like to use and to implement, when the newly Mature social and political crisis.
The revolutionary significance of the work performance in the Mangystau region is difficult to overestimate, it has become a model and an example and for the first time formulated the political objectives of the entire working movement of Kazakhstan. Zhanaozen became a prototype of the future Kazakhstan revolution. The strike also gave an unprecedented impetus to the working performances, even after the shooting, which was another proof of the fracture of consciousness of workers. So in May 2012, no less dramatic with the seizure strikes were the miners of the Corporation "Kazakhmys", who achieved a wage increase of 100 percent!
Echo of repression and reaction
According to independent trade unions, workers ' activists and local residents, more than 70 workers were killed and more than 500 injured in the shooting on December 16-17, 2011, and only 15 were killed according to the official version. However, in the future, workers ' activists and local residents found nameless graves in abandoned cemeteries, and some soldiers of the marine brigade shared with journalists of the magazine "Adam" the fact of the burial of corpses in the Caspian sea.
Zhanaozen itself turned for a few months into an occupied city, where martial law was introduced, where thousands of people were arrested and placed in "filtration points", and more simply in garages, production facilities, basements of administrative buildings, as the police Department and jail were Packed to capacity. They all went through beatings and torture. People were also arrested after treatment in hospitals with light bullet wounds and even taken directly from hospital beds. The scale of terror and robbery of the local population and workers by numerous OMON units from different regions, units of internal troops and even the marine brigade of the Ministry of defense of Kazakhstan, is amazing.
Within two weeks, all the main figures and active participants of the strike were arrested and tortured. In the end, before the court in April 2012 appeared in 37 of the workers leaders and activists of Zhanaozen and Shetpe, among them such well-known figures unbroken as Maksat Dosmagambetov and Rosa Tuletayeva, and in the judicial process were uncovered numerous instances of physical violence by interrogators on detainees with the aim of obtaining the necessary evidence. This was said almost all of the defendants, but it revealed the first young worker Alexander Bozhenko, however then after a few months he was murdered by persons unknown.
As a result of the international solidarity campaign, in which a large number of parties and trade unions, including the World Federation of trade Unions and PAME, were actively involved, 13 out of 37 workers ' activists were sentenced to different prison terms. In Zhanaozen itself, two political strikes were held during the trial, demanding the release of all those arrested. However, despite some easing, the flywheel of political repression in the country was launched at full capacity, resulting in a few years were closed all opposition parties including the court liquidated and the oldest Communist party of Kazakhstan, closed all independent publications and blocked hundreds of Internet resources, including all our sites.
A number of activists SMK and "Zhanartu" has also been subjected to harassment, lay-offs and repression, the main leaders because of the threat of arrest was forced to leave Kazakhstan. The co-Chairman of SMK and Zhanartu activist, coal miner Tahir Mukhamedzyanov, was found dead in June 2012 in his apartment in city Shakhtinsk before the miners ' strike. Many organizations and associations associated with us were also liquidated by the court. At the time of the scale of repression and the decline of the labor movement were among the trade unions and political organizations and traitors who came to the service of the regime.
In addition to repression, the President and representatives of mining corporations raised the issue of the actual total destruction of trade unions in the country. Then after Zhanaozen for the authorities it became clear that the regional trade unions in the field and the leadership of the Federation of trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FPRK) are unable to control the situation in the workforce and even more influence the course of strikes.
These grassroots structures of the official trade unions as the result of protests gradually began to captured the rank and file worker activists. And this trend continued even after the shooting in Zhanaozen in 2012 and in 2013. The role of initiative groups and new clandestine trade unions, which became politicized as they faced opposition from employers, who attracted law enforcement agencies to suppress protests, increased everywhere.
Therefore, the government decided to adopt in 2014 a new law "On trade unions", which violates many international conventions and covenants signed by the government of Kazakhstan, and which complements the same discriminatory Labor Code, which was adopted in 2015. Under this law, it is no longer possible to create new workers ' associations independent of employers, and more than 600 local trade unions have been closed by court.
In 2017, the year the act became the basis for the elimination of the Confederation of Independent trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KNPK), the last independent enterprises, on formal grounds, allegedly due to the fact that the trade Association was unable to confirm its Republican status. Moreover, on fabricated materials its head Larisa Kharkov was condemned for four and a half years. For participation in a mass hunger strike of oil workers against the court's decision on the elimination of KNPK was arrested and sentenced to two years leaders of the independent Union of petroleum Amin Yeleussinov and Nurbek Kuchukbaev. The latter was convicted of calling for an illegal strike.
It was only after an international solidarity campaign that these trade Union leaders were released on parole with a ban on social and trade Union activities. 64 trade Union activists dismissed for participating in a hunger strike, against whom multi-million fines were awarded for causing "damage" to the employer, have not been reinstated. The Criminal Code contains a whole package of articles that prosecute participation and organization of illegal strikes, the creation of unregistered parties and trade unions, calls for illegal strikes and participation in unauthorized trade Union meetings.
The international Labour Organization (ILO) has prepared and sent to the government of Kazakhstan a Memorandum, as well as many regulations condemning the discriminatory law that violates the rights of trade unions and contradicts the international covenants and conventions signed by Astana. The Memorandum and subsequent documents explicitly referred to the establishment of monopoly structures of the trade Union movement in the Republic and to the elimination of the right of workers to form their unions.
In their appeals, the World Federation of trade Unions (WFTU) and the international trade Union Confederation (ITUC) protested the adoption of a new law on trade unions. Your complaint to the ILO sent a working trade Union "Zhanartu", which since 2009 is constantly denied state registration, as well as the Confederation of Independent trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The economic purpose of adopting a new anti-labor laws also resulted in the reduction of labor cost in the country and cuts in social benefits, and also prevention of strikes and the creation of independent trade unions. This is an urgent demand of large mining companies, as well as the desire of the authorities to prevent organized resistance to these processes and a new mass privatization, and a new law has been adopted, which introduces a monopoly on trade Union activities only carefully selected organizations. In addition, the authorities, together with the special services, even resorted to the creation of pseudo-Union organizations, sending their employees to them.
Striking is the blatant lack of professionalism of those who carry out "trade Union reform". Over the past 3-4 years, Nazarbayev has completely changed the leadership of the Federation of trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan three times. Among the appointees were not just experienced Union workers, but in General any related to trade unions. Managers of the companies and officers of the current reserve of special services came to the place of former heads.
At the moment, due to the numerous requirements of the ILO, the government of Kazakhstan together with the puppet Pro-government organizations allegedly initiated a discussion of amendments to the law "on trade unions", which in fact is an imitation and preparation of formal amendments that will not change the essence and will not allow employees to create their own organizations.
As a result, now in the situation of the actual prohibition of trade Union activities and the right to hold strikes and meetings, workers were able to create new forms in the face of initiative groups that illegally prepare allegedly "spontaneous" or "spontaneous" strikes. Striking examples are the mass strikes of miners of Kazakhmys Corporation and miners of Arcelor Mittal Temirtau in November-December 2017, which were able to achieve a salary increase of 70% and 30%, respectively, without any trade unions.
On the contrary, their strike was accompanied by a fierce struggle against existing corporate unions under the control of the authorities and employers. In this case, the government was simply afraid of the introduction of troops and police, especially in mines, and was forced to make concessions against the backdrop of strong support for the strike by local residents and employees of neighboring companies.
In contrast to these actions of workers, the current government of Bakytzhan Sagintayev issued a special decree in January 2018 "on approval of the action Plan for the prevention and resolution of labor conflicts for 2018 – 2020", in which employers ' organizations, together with the existing official trade unions, are involved in the creation of a system to identify the instigators and organizers of strikes (5). In fact, the existing "trade unions" are becoming a tool for creating a system of informing, squealing and control over labor collectives and are now perceived by workers as their enemies.
This, on the one hand, is a new blow to workers, and on the other hand, on the contrary, it completely deprives the puppet "unions" of any support and influence among workers, which will necessarily affect the new rise of the strike movement in the near future.
The political nature of the regime that restored capitalism and its gravedigger
The entire modern history of Kazakhstan shows that the restoration of capitalism could only occur through the form of an open bourgeois dictatorship, the active creators of which were the former party leaders who became part of the new class.
The political regime that contributed to the restoration of capitalism cannot exist in any other way. The consolidation of the ruling class and the implementation of bourgeois rule does not take place through the competition of systemic political parties within the framework of formal democracy and the principle of separation of powers, but through the direct leadership of the super-arbiter, who himself is a major capitalist.
State-monopolistic capitalism is in our conditions a constant process of concentration of assets and finances in the hands of one small ruling group of the President's family and the nearest oligarchs. Thus, the state-monopolistic capital is personified and it is difficult to separate it from the power, as it represents one single machine under the manual control of one "Caudillo", that is, the self-proclaimed "leader of the nation".
Such consolidation of power creates incredible favorable conditions for the further development of capitalism and maximization of profits by transnational and domestic companies and makes it possible to dismantle the social system of providing for the masses suppressed by repression and the actual prohibition of trade unions and strikes.
Total corruption and embezzlement of national income becomes a necessary lubricant for the operation of this machine, aimed at pumping out natural resources and the exploitation of local labor. Indeed, Kazakhstan has been and remains an experimental testing ground for the most odious and anti-people reforms. And only then, after a whole period of time, these reforms were implemented in other CIS countries and in particular in Russia.
For example, reforms related to the privatization of housing and communal services in 1994, the transition to a private funded pension system under the Chilean model with an increase in the retirement age in 1996, the commercialization of medicine and education, as well as the mass privatization of strategic industries and the involvement of foreign and especially Western companies in the extractive industry.
These market transformations in the economy, as we see, not only coexisted, but were carried out faster under authoritarian rule and within the framework of the super-presidential bourgeois republics. Actually, it could not be otherwise. The imposition of capitalism and radical market reforms in Kazakhstan, in fact, as in other republics of the USSR, could occur only in conditions of bourgeois dictatorship.
No wonder Margaret Thatcher called the former first Secretary of the Communist party of Kazakhstan his best student from among the presidents of the former Soviet republics. Therefore, the Western capital needed this bourgeois presidential dictatorship in Kazakhstan in the person of the partocrat Nazarbayev to decisively break the elements of the planned economy and social security system and open access to the country's wealth.
It is because of this that the Supreme Council of Kazakhstan, the most democratic Parliament in the history of modern Kazakhstan was dissolved in November 1993 and the first Constitution was thrown into the scrap. The then Deputy corps, consisting of" red Directors " and populists could clearly slow down the process of market reforms and redistribution of property.
Now the regime of the super-presidential Republic, formed on the basis of the Constitution of 1995, came to its logical conclusion and created at the top of the raw material model of Kazakhstan capitalism dynastic system of power, protected by the new Supreme body — the security Council, towering over all branches of power.
The eventual establishment of a dynastic succession of power and a new monarchy along the lines of the Arab monarchies of the Middle East in Kazakhstan does not contradict, but even contributes to, the progressive development of capitalism. It is also indicative that imperialism turned a blind eye to the massacre of oil workers, it is clear from the fact that Kazakhstan signed an agreement on economic cooperation with the European Union in December 2015, and the United States considers the current regime as its strategic partner in the Central Asian region.
The only obstacle in the way of this dictatorship was the working movement of the country, the resistance of which is trying to break the representatives of the ruling class during all these years since the emergence of "independent" Kazakhstan. And despite the repressions and defeats, this movement and the new generations of the class have sometimes acquired a unique political experience in the post-Soviet space through a bloody struggle and laid the first class traditions.
Of course, they will become the basis for the subsequent revival of the movement, the creation of class unions and the revolutionary transformation of workers ' consciousness. Our task as Communists is not only to promote this and the process of their self-organization, as well as the struggle for basic democratic rights and freedoms, but also to arm these awakened workers with a program of overthrowing restored capitalism and establishing a new political regime that sets the task of socialist transformations.
In this situation, the struggle against dictatorship, there is a struggle not only with specific rulers, and the struggle against the entire socio-economic system established in Kazakhstan in the early 90's.this implies the development on the basis of international experience of the Communist and labor movement of effective tactics of struggle without any special "transitional stages" or some "bourgeois-democratic" periods, which in practice should mean the rejection of any blocs with the liberal bourgeois opposition or groups within the ruling class. On the contrary, it relies only on class allies, such as the masses of self-employed, farmers, students and unemployed youth, pensioners and other groups of workers who recognize and share the socialist platform.
1. Source: 15 years of the NIS (1991-2005). Stat. M]: Stat. Committee of the CIS. 2006.
2. Source: 10 years of CIS (1991-2000). Stat. sat MGSC CIS. M., 2001; Commonwealth of Independent States in 2010 Stat. sat MGSC CIS. M., 2011. Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan on statistics.
3. Source: website of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan http://socialismkz.info/?p=
4. Source: website of the Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan http://socialismkz.info/?p=
5. Source: Resolution of the government dated 10 Jan 2018:
About the approval of the action Plan for the prevention and resolution of labor conflicts for 2018-2020
The government of the Republic of Kazakhstan DECIDES:
1. Approve the enclosed action Plan for the prevention and resolution of labor conflicts for 2018 – 2020 (further - the action Plan).
2. Central and local Executive bodies, the National chamber of entrepreneurs of the Republic of Kazakhstan "Atameken", industry organizations, regional chambers of entrepreneurs (by agreement), national, sectoral, territorial associations of trade unions (by agreement):
1) ensure timely implementation of the action Plan;
2) twice a year, by January 15 and July 15, at the end of the half-year, to submit information on the implementation of the action Plan to the Ministry of labor and social protection of the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
3. For official use.
4. This resolution shall be put into effect upon expiry of ten calendar days after the date of its first official publication.
Republic Of Kazakhstan