I. Background. Oil and cas : backbone of Kazakhstan's economy ; Oil companies in Kazakhstan ; Corporate responsibility ; Kazakhstan's labor movement
II. Freedom of Association under International and Kazakh Law. International labor standards ; Kazakhstan labor law
III. Violations of freedom of association and other rights in Kazakhstan's oil sector. Interference with union activity and strike at KarazhanbasMunai Oil Company ; Wage dispute and strike at OzenMunaiGas Oil Company ; Interference in union cctivity and strike at Ersai Caspian Contractor ; Mass dismissals at OzenMunaiGas, Ersai Caspian Contractor, and KarazhanbasMunai and its affiliate companies ; Violations of freedom of assembly of those supporting the oil workers
IV. Strike aftermath : violent clashes and politically-motivated arrests. December
16 Zhanaozen violence ; Crackdown on outspoken oil workers and political opposition activists
V. The role of Ersai Caspian Contractor, KarazhanbasMunai and OzenMunaiGas. Public commitments and responsibility to protect human rights
VI. The role of Kazakhstan's international partners. Statements by international partners on labor rights violations ; Failure to turn a new leaf : Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship ; Enhanced partners : European Union-Kazakhstan relationship
"With an estimated three percent of the world's proven oil reserves and extensive natural resources, Kazakhstan has experienced rapid economic growth in the last decades, making it an increasingly important trade partner for many countries. National and multinational oil and gas companies invest heavily in Kazakhstan and employ hundreds of thousands of workers, many of them working in difficult and dangerous conditions. Yet fundamental labor rights are not fully protected in Kazakhstan, exposing workers to serious violations of their rights to freedom of association, collective bargaining and expression, as well as their right to strike. Striking Oil, Striking Workers: Violations of Labor Rights in Kazakhstan's Oil Sector analyzes how companies and Kazakh authorities failed to respect workers' rights in the months preceding and during three separate extended peaceful labor strikes that erupted in western Kazakhstan in May 2011. The report documents the tactics companies and Kazakh authorities employed to restrict workers' rights, including denying elected union leaders access to company grounds, harassing and threatening workers for participating in legitimate union meetings, and imprisoning union leaders for organizing strikes deemed illegal as a result of overly restrictive national legislation. It also analyzes the mass dismissals of over 2,000 oil workers. Human Rights Watch urges the government of Kazakhstan to immediately uphold and protect internationally protected labor rights by ensuring that authorities and national and multinational companies respect the right of workers to freely join and participate in independent unions, engage in collective bargaining, and hold peaceful strikes without first having to overcome excessively burdensome collective bargaining requirements. The report also calls on Kazakhstan's international partners, in particular the European Union, to push Kazakhstan to respect its citizens' right to freedom of assembly, association, and expression in accordance with international law"--P.  of cover.
"This report analyzes the tactics employed by Kazakh authorities and three companies operating in the oil and gas sector in western Kazakhstan to restrict workers' rights to freedom of assembly, association, and expression leading up to and during peaceful labor strikes that began in May 2011. Local authorities broke the strike at one of the companies in June. Workers at the other two continued peaceful strikes until December 16, 2011, when clashes erupted between police and others, including striking oil workers, in Zhanaozen, a town in remote western Kazakhstan. Police shot 12 people dead in the clashes"--Publisher's website.