Law on Trade Unions

No. 1129 from 7 July 2000

 AMENDED
 LP154-XVI from 21.07.2005, MO126-128/23.09.05 art.611, force 01/01/2006
 L482/04.12.03, 48, MO6-12/01.01.04
 L240/13.06.03, art.557 MO138/08.07.03
Parliament adopts the present law.

Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Constitution of trade unions 
For the purpose of this law, the following terms mean:
Trade unions – non-governmental organizations which include, on a voluntary basis, individuals united by common interests, including their related activities, set up to defend the members’ professional, economic, social and labor collective and individual rights;
primary trade union organization - voluntary association of members based on common interests, which usually operates in the same company, the same institution, the same organization, regardless of legal form of organization and type of ownership, departmental or branch affiliation;
union member - person (employed, unemployed, retired, student, etc.). which is registered in a primary trade union;
trade union body - governing body constituted in accordance with the primary trade union organization's rules or its territorial or intersectoral branch, according to trade union’s national or intersectoral branch’s statute;
trade union organizer - leader of the primary trade union organization, vested with such powers under its national trade union statute, branch or regulations approved by the center;
territorial branch trade union center - voluntary association of primary trade union organizations acting in the same branch, usually in district territory, autonomous territorial unit, city, town;
[Note. amended by L482/04.12.03, 48, MO6-12/01.01.04]
intersectoral territorial trade union center - voluntary association of regional branch trade union centers operating normally within district territory, autonomous territorial unit, city, town. To intersectoral regional centers may join primary trade unions without territorial structures;
[Note. amended by L482/04.12.03, 48, MO6-12/01.01.04]
national trade union center branch - voluntary association of trade unions of workers, usually from the same branch;
national intersectoral trade union center - voluntary associations of national trade union branch centers.
Article 2. Legislation on trade unions
(1) The legislation on trade unions is composed of the Constitution, this Law, other laws and international instruments to which the Republic of Moldova is party.
(2) If the country's legislation on trade unions is contrary to international instruments to which Moldova is party, priority shall be given to international regulations.
Article 3. The scope of this law
(1) Trade union rights, the guarantees of their activity shall extend to trade unions and their elected bodies at all levels, provided for by the union statutes, registered as established.
(2) Under this law shall fall all enterprises, institutions and organizations, regardless of legal form of organization and type of ownership, departmental or branch membership.
Article 4. Peculiarities of application of this law in military units and internal affairs bodies
This law applies to military units and of internal affairs bodies, taking into account the particular set of legislation to determine their legal status.
Article 5. Independence of trade unions
(1) Trade unions are independent in their activity from public authorities at all levels, from political parties, non-governmental associations, employers and their associations, shall not fall under their control and not subordinate. Any interference that would restrict trade union rights or prevent their execution shall be prohibited.
(2) Unions are equal in rights and can collaborate with any trade union centers, including other countries, international trade unions, regional and other similar organizations.
Article 6. Prohibition of discrimination because of trade union membership
(1) Trade union membership does not imply any restrictions on human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and other laws, international instruments to which Moldova is party.
(2) It is prohibited to employ, promote, and dismis a person on the condition to belong, join or exit a trade union.
(3) Threating or influence through bribery, promises (to improve working conditions, service, education, etc..) in order to determine them to renounce to become members of a trade union, leave a union and enter into another union, dissolve the trade union, or commit other illegal actions is prohibited.
(4) Trade unions shall enjoy constitutional protection, including judicial, against discriminatory actions that seek to limit freedom of association in trade unions and their activities carried out under statute.

Chapter II
CREATION AND REGISTRATION OF TRADE UNIONS  
 
Article 7. Right to associate in a trade union
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Moldova and foreign citizens and stateless persons legally residing on its territory are entitled, to create and join trade unions in accordance with their statutes, without prior authorization from public authorities.
(2) Persons who are not employed or who have lost their work and those who legally exercise an individual activity may voluntary associate or join trade unions or remain members of the institution, organization’s trade union from their previous work place.
(3) Moldovan citizens abroad are entitled to become members of the existing unions in Moldova.
Article 8. Creation and structure of trade unions
(1) The basis of the trade unions is their primary organization.
(2) The primary trade union organization shall be constituted of at least three people, considered the founders. The decision of founding the primary trade union organization shall be adopted by the constituent assembly.
(3) The trade union shall be voluntary constituted, based on common interest (professional, branch, etc..) and shall operate usually within enterprises, institutions and organizations, hereinafter referred to as units, irrespective of their legal form of organization and type of ownership, departmental or branch membership. The employer (administration) has no right to prevent individuals from joining a trade union.
(4) Trade unions may join with trade union or intersectoral territorial branch centers (at district level, autonomous territorial unit, city, town) and national trade union centers, as federations, confederations.
[Rule 8's. (4) amended by L482/04.12.03, 48, MO6-12/01.01.04]
 (5) National branch and national intersectoral trade unions centers may join international federations and confederations.
(6) The constitution of the trade union, its organizational structure and functioning is regulated by trade union’s status.
Article 9. Trade union’s status
(1) The trade union has the right to independently develop and approve regulations and rules, to determine the structure and to choose independent representatives, to form its apparatus and operate and formulate the action plan.
(2) Public authorities are not allowed any interference which would restrict or suspend the exercise of rights under paragraph (1) of this article.
(3) The trade union status will at least include provisions on:
a) the trade union’s name and premises;
b) the trade union's goals and objectives, methods and forms of their accomplishment;
c) acquiring and ceasing memberships;
d) the trade union’s members’ rights and obligations;
e) the amount of the contributions and their collection;
f) the name of the governing bodies, their election and dismissal, the duration of their mandates and tasks,
g) the meetings, conferences, status adoption conferences’ deliberation conditions, amendment and adoption of other decisions;
h) organizational structure, accession, division or dissolution and distribution, transmission or liquidation of assets;
i) joining trade union centers such as federations, confederations.
(4) The trade union’s status may not contain provisions contrary to the Constitution and this Law.
Article 10. Registering the trade union as a legal entity
(1) The national and intersectoral branch status of legal entities shall appear from the moment of registration by the Ministry of Justice.
(2) For registration the following documents are needed:
a) a request, signed by the head of trade union body;
b) a copy of the status, in duplicate;
c) the meeting’s (conference, congress) decision on founding the union.
(3) The Ministry of Justice is obliged to adopt, within one month from presenting the documents specified in paragraph (2) of this Article, the decision on registering the union and to issue the certificate of state registration or refusal of the registration, motivating the decision.
(4) Failure to register the trade union within the time limit or refusing to register for reasons considered unfounded by the founders may be appealed in competent administrative court in the manner prescribed by law.
[Art.10. (4) amended by L240/13.06.03, MO138/08.07.03 art.557]
 (5) The primary trade union organization, territorial and sectoral trade union center shall acquire territorial rights and obligations of legal entity under the national trade union centers’ statutes.
Article 11.Ceasing, suspension, banning trade union’s activity
(1) The union may cease its activity upon its members’ decision, as established by the statute.
(2) If the union’s activity is contrary to the Constitution and this law, it can be suspended for a period of up to six months or prohibited by a decision of the Supreme Court, upon notification by the Minister of Justice or General Prosecutor. Prohibiting the trade union’s activity based on other bodies’ decisions is not allowed.
Chapter III
Basic rights of trade unions
Article 12. Defending the rights and interests of trade union members
The trade union represents and defends professional, economic, social, labor collective and individual members’ rights and interests within public authorities of all levels, courts, public associations, employers and their associations.
Article 13. Right to participate in public affairs management
(1) Under the law, trade unions are entitled to participate in the administration of public affairs, to the formation of the state’s economic, social and labor policies.
(2) Trade unions can promote their representatives in public authorities at all levels.
Article 14. Right to participate in development projects socio-economic programs and legal acts
(1) Trade unions have the right to participate in social and economic development programs, drafting laws and other regulations in labor compensation, social security, price formation, public health and other areas related to employment and social and economic development. Within public authorities, the trade union shall exercise that right through its respective body.
(2) Public authorities shall send the draft programs and legal acts specified in paragraph (1) of this article, to the respective trade union bodies, requiring for their opinions or suggestions to be submitted no later than 30 days. Failure to present within the terms opinions or proposals is considered the trade union’s refuse to exercise its right to express an opinion.
(3) Trade unions are entitled to attend when public authorities examine their opinions and proposals set out in paragraph (2) of this article. In case of rejection or partial acceptance of trade union’s proposals, the authority shall inform in writing about this, motivating its position.
(4) Trade unions are entitled to publicly express through mass media their position on the draft programs and legislative acts and other acts listed in paragraph (1) of this article.
Article 15. Right to collective negotiations, concluding of collective contracts and exercising control over their execution
(1) Trade unions have the right to collective negotiations with employers and their associations, government authorities and to conclusion of collective agreements. Units’ leaders where there are no trade unions and employers who hinder their creation and activity cannot be members of committees for collective negotiations.
(2) Employers and their associations, public authorities are obliged to conduct collective negotiations with trade unions on social and labor issues as well as on concluding collective labor agreements where trade unions also submit such a proposal.
(3) The manner of negotiating and concluding collective agreements is regulated by legislation.
(4) The trade unions shall control the execution of collective labor agreements and are entitled to request the dismissal of officials guilty of violating the laws in this area.
Article 16. Defending the trade union’s members rights to work
(1) Trade unions shall defend their members’ right to work, to freely dispose of their skills, and choose the field of activity and occupation, the right to remuneration which would ensure a decent living.
(2) The trade unions shall be involved in developing public policy on labor force use, propose social protection measures for dismissed people redundant, exercise public control over compliance with legislation on the use of labor force.
(3) liquidation, reorganization or change of ownership unit, complete or partial interruption of the production process of the employer's initiative, leading to reduction in mass job or to poorer working conditions may be made only provided information at least three months before the union of the branch concerned and initiated collective bargaining for workers' rights and interests.
(4) Termination of employer's initiative, the individual employment contract with employee union membership can take place only with the consent of the union (union organizer).
Article 17. Labor rights and environmental protection
(1) Trade unions involved in developing public policy on labor and environmental protection, programs to improve working conditions for workers, shall control the timely fulfillment of the planned actions in this field.
(2) Trade unions participating in drafting legislation relating to employment are entitled to challenge the legal acts that harm the interests of employees.
(3) Trade unions shall control through their elected bodies, technical inspectorate on labor protection and labor protection representatives, operating under regulations approved by the appropriate trade union centers the situation of labor and environmental protection. In this respect, they are entitled to:
a) freely visit and review their units and subunits, regardless of their legal form of organization and type of property to determine compliance of employment conditions to labor protection requirements;
b) present the employer (government) compulsory proposals, formulating suggestions on addressing the identified shortcomings;
c) participate in the activity of the commissions for receiving ready operating production and in investigating labor accidents;
d) protect the interests of trade union members in matters related to labor protection, the granting of facilities, compensation and other social guarantees for the influence on the production and harmful ecological factors over workers.
(4) Where the trade unions finds cases of violations of labor protection requirements, labor accidents hiding and cases of occupational diseases or non-objection investigations of these facts, shall ask the leaders of these units, the competent public authorities to take immediate measures and determine the liability of guilty persons.
(5) In the case of jeopardizing the workers life or health, the trade union is entitled to request the cessation of work and suspension of employer (administration’s) decisions which contradict the employment protection legislation. The employer (administration) is required to consider the trade union's requirements and inform it in writing about its decision.
Article 18. Workers’ right to social protection 
(1) For the purposes of workers’ social protection, trade unions shall contribute to the development of socially oriented economy, participate in developing social programs to improve health care and social assistance, create conditions to ensure a decent life and free development of personality, achieve measures of social protection for workers, involve in determining the basic criteria of the standard of living, publicly control the compliance of the legislation in the mentioned areas.
(2) Trade unions’ representatives, equal to their social partners, shall be members of the governing body of the state social insurance budget.
(3) Trade unions shall be involved in organizing sanatorium-spa treatment of employees, children and adult leisure, schools’ physical education activities and sports for children, in the limit of the allocations provided for the social security state budget.
Article 19. Right to perform public control on compliance with the labor laws and housing
Trade unions shall perform public control over the units compliance with labor and dwelling legislation, regardless of their legal form of organization and type of property, subordination of departmental or branch, and are entitled to request the removal of the revealed shortcomings.
Article 20. Right to perform public control over the privatization process
According to the law, collective labor contracts and their statutes, trade unions shall perform public control over the privatization process’ compliance with legal acts.
Article 21. Participation in solving individual labor disputes and collective conflicts
(1) Trade unions shall offer legal aid to their members and shall participate, according to the law, in solving individual employment disputes.
(2) Trade unions shall be involved in collective conflict resolution issues related to professional economic, social and labor interests, conclusion and performance of collective labor contracts, establishment of new working conditions and living standards or amend the existing ones. Trade unions’ rights in the process of solving such conflicts are established by law, regulations and collective agreements.
(3) Trade unions shall create under law, legal services for representing the rights and interests of their members within public authorities, including judiciary. The approved statutes (regulations) of the respective trade union’s body determine the activity of such services.
Article 22. The right to organize and conduct meetings
(1) In order to protect the trade union’s and trade union’s members’ rights from their employers arbitrariness, influence on public authorities to promote social and economic policies that would meet the interests of workers, the trade union through its independent or members’ decision shall organize and conduct, as required by law: meetings, demonstrations, rallies, processions, picketing, strikes and other actions, using them as a form of struggle for better working conditions, wage growth, reducing unemployment, strengthening workers’ solidarity for fighting for their professional, economic, social and labor rights and interests.
(2) Trade unions may conduct joint actions of solidarity with other organizations, associations and unions in the country and abroad.
(3) In order to protect the professional, economic, social and labor rights and interests of and their members, trade unions shall also use other forms which are not contrary to law.
Article 23. Right to Information
(1) Trade unions are entitled to receive free information from public authorities, employers and their associations on issues related to employment, wages, unemployment, social and economic development, state of the environment, privatization, welfare, health, housing.
(2) Failure of the persons in charge to provide the required information or submitting of inaccurate information shall be considered an impediment for the trade union’s activity. Those responsible are held liable under the law.
(3) Unions are entitled to receive, transmit and disseminate information by any legitimate means. As a social partner, they benefit from free state media services, may conduct social surveys and possess information centers.
Article 24. Regulating relations between trade unions, government and employers unions
Relations between trade unions, government and employers unions in social partnership sphere shall be built on the principle of equal rights and are regulated by the Constitution, ILO Conventions, to which Moldova is party, the Law on Government, Law on employers unions, this law and other regulations in this area.

Chapter IV
Trade unions’ property and its protection
 
Article 25. Trade unions’ property
(1) Trade unions’ legal status, as subject of the property rights is based on international law, the Constitution, Civil Code, laws on property, this law, and the trade unions’ statute.
(2) The trade unions’ property shall include: companies, land, manufacturing and non- manufacturing related buildings, installation, spa sanatoria, tourist, sporting, cultural, scientifical and education institutions, housing, banking, printing and publishing services, securities, equipment, inventory and other assets.
(3) Trade unions and their associations possess property rights over purchased or created assets at the expense of their own funds, funds of enterprises and organizations they belong to, assets received for free from companies, organizations, public authorities, trade unions, trade union hierarchical upper bodies and purchased on the terms that do not contravene to the law.
(4) The trade unions’ property is inviolable, indivisible and can not be nationalized, appropriated, disposed of or managed by others, including public authorities, without the owner’s consent.
(5) Trade unions and their associations possess, use and dispose of the assets and financial resources they own in order to carry out the statutory goals and objectives.
(6) Trade unions are not liable for the state and subjects of entrepreneurial activity’s obligations, which at their turn, are not liable for the obligations of trade unions.
(7) The sources and manner of providing training and use of union funds and property are established in their statutes.
(8) Trade unions can conduct business activity in accordance with the laws and statutes.
(9) The relations between unions, between unions and business associations on their property rights shall be based on the powers provided in the statutes, their regulations and / or contracts concluded between them.
Article 26. Subjects of trade unions’ property rights
Subjects of trade unions’ property right are trade unions and their associations, which have the status of legal entity. Individuals who are members of the trade unions do not possess property rights over the share property of trade unions.
Article 27. Trade unions’ funds
(1) The funds of the trade unions shall be formed from subscription fees and membership fees, donations, revenue from legal entrepreneurship activity.
(2) Trade unions can constitute solidarity, unemployment, strike, insurance, pension, investment, cultural, education and training and other necessary funds for their statutory duties.
Article 28. Taxes
(1) Trade unions and their cultural, educational, scientific, sporting, spa sanatoria associations and other institutions, solidarity and unemployment funds shall be benefit from tax concessions under the law.
(2) Trade union companies shall pay to the union budget payment in the amount and manner determined by law.
Article 29. Financial activity control
(1) The financial activity of trade unions held in accordance with their statutes is not controlled by public authorities, except for entrepreneurial activity.
(2) The financial activity of trade unions on the use of state social insurance budget means is controlled by the state in the manner prescribed by law. Trade unions are required to submit to the National Social Insurance House, within the timeframe, Quarterly Reports on using these funds.
Article 30. Guarantees of the trade unions’ property rights 
Trade unions and associations’ property right is ensured and guaranteed by the Constitution and other laws.

Chapter V
The warranties of trade unions’ activity

Article 31. Observing trade unions’ rights
(1) Public authorities, employers unions and unions are obliged to observe trade unions’ rights provided by their statutes, legislation and international instruments.
(2) The State ensures favorable conditions for trade unions to accomplish their statutory tasks and attributions on implementing the decisions of trade unions’ bodies of all levels.
(3) Public authorities, employers are not entitled to prevent or prohibit trade unions’ representatives to visit the units and subdivisions for the purposes of accomplishing trade unions’ statutory duties and attributions.
Article 32. Supporting trade union education
(1) Trade unions, together with social partners, shall develop, and through their educational institutions, promote training programs on issues related to labor relations, collective negotiations. etc..
(2) Public authorities and educational institutions shall offer necessary help for training the staff to participate in the collective negotiation process in the social partnership system.
Article 33. Guarantees for persons elected within trade union bodies not unreleased from their basic workplace 
(1) Persons elected within trade unions bodies of all levels of composition and unreleased from their basic workplace can not be subject to disciplinary sanctions without preliminary consent of the board whose members they are. Trade unions’ leaders unreleased from their basic workplace cannot be held liable without a preliminary consent disciplinary superior trade union body.
(2) The transfer to another workplace, of a person chosen in the trade union body composition and unreleased from the basic workplace shall be done with the consent of the body whose member he/she is, observing the other rules set by legislation and collective labor contract.
(3) Dismissal from the administration’s initiative of the person elected within the trade union’s bodies and unreleased from the basic workplace is permitted, only with preliminary consent of the body whose member this person is. Primary trade union’s leaders unreleased from the basic workplace cannot be dismissed at the administration’s initiative without preliminary consent of superior trade union body.
(4) The elected members of the trade union unreleased from the basic workplace are given up to 4 hours per week to achieve their rights and to fulfill their trade union obligations, keeping their average salary. The actual working period for performing trade union obligations can be determined in collective employment contract.
(5) For accomplishing public obligations for the trade unions members’ interests during meetings, trainings, seminars, congresses and conferences the members of elective trade union bodies shall be released from the basic workplace, but kept their average salary.
Article 34. Guarantees for the persons elected within trade union bodies and dismissed from their basic work
(1) The persons released from work after the election in the trade unions’ bodies shall be granted the position previously taken after the expiry of office, and if not possible - another equivalent function in the same unit. During the exercise of elective positions, the individual employment contract is suspended. The person hired instead of the elected person shall concluded a temporary individual employment contract.
(2) Where it is impossible to provide the previously occupied workplace or employment equivalents (because of unit liquidation, its reorganization, reducing the number of workers), the administration shall pay to persons specified in paragraph (1) of this Article a dismissal allowance equal to six average monthly salaries.
(3) Persons dismissed in connection with their election in the trade unions bodies shall have the same rights and privileges as other members of that team.
(4) Dismissal from the administration’s initiative of individuals chosen within the trade union bodies is not permitted for one year after the expiring of elective duties, unless the total liquidation of the unit or if the person committs wrongful actions, for which legislation provides for dismissal. In these cases, the dismissal is carried out as usually.
(5) Collective employment agreements and trade union statutes may also provide other guaranties for the trade union elective workers and other union workers.
Article 35. Units’ obligations to insure conditions for trade unions’ activity
(1) The employer (administration) is required to offer the respective trade union for free rooms with all the inventory, heating, lighting, and security services needed work.
(2) The employer (administration) provides for free to the respective trade union, under the collective employment agreement, transportation and telecommunications for fulfilling public obligations.
(3) Buildings, premises, facilities and other social and cultural objects, recreation camps for children and adolescents, at the balance of the units and rented by them are offered for free to trade unions to organize the rest, cultural-educational and physical-cultural activity, according to the collective employment agreement.
(4) Maintenance, including repairings, heating, lighting, cleaning and security services, equipment buildings, rooms, accommodation and other items indicated in paragraph (3) of this article shall be done from the employer's account and other sources provided by the legislation.
(5) The employer (administration), in agreement with the trade unions, provides in the business plans or estimates funds of up to 0,15% of payroll for their use, for the purposes set out in collective agreement.
[Art.35 of. (5) as of LP154/21.07.05, MO126/23.09.05 art.611, in force from 01.01.06]
[Art.35 al. (5) as of LP154/21.07.05, MO126/23.09.05 art.611, in force from 01.01.2006]
 (6) The employer (administration) shall collect for free the trade union membership fees and transfer them monthly on the account of the respective trade union body.
(7) Other measures to ensure trade union’s activity are regulated by the collective agreement and should not diminish the efficiency of the unit.
Article 36. Guarantees for union members
Union members have rights and obligations under the Constitution, this Law, other laws, the union’s status and collective agreement, the implementation of which is guaranteed.
Chapter VI
Liability for infringement trade union legislation and statutes
Article 37. Liability of persons in charge within public authorities, employers and trade unions
(1) For violation of this Law, other laws on trade unions, trade unions’ statutes or implementing the legislation in a manner to obstruct the performance of the guarantees established in the trade union’s activity, the persons in charge within public authorities, employers and trade unions shall be held liable under law.
(2) The guilty persons for hindering lawful activities of trade unions shall be subject to disciplinary, material, administrative and criminal liability, under the law.
Article 38. Examination of the complaints
(1) Complaints about violations of this law, other laws relating to trade unions, the union statutes are examined by courts. The respective trade union and other supervision and control bodies submit the complaints.
(2) The decisions, conclusions and rulings of the courts taken on these complaints may be appealed, according to the law.
(3) The complaints on the trade unions’ decisions (acts) and actions of the trade union workers are examined in accordance with the laws and statutes of the unions.

Chapter VII
Final provisions 
 
Article 39
(1) Trade unions, registered as provided by law before the entry into force of this law, shall not be subject to re registration.
(2) Within three months the Government shall:
submit to Parliament proposals on bringing the legislation into compliance with this law;
bring its legislation in line with this law.
(3) Upon entry into force of this law the Decree of RSS Supreme Moldova to ratify the Law U.R.S.S. no. 478-XII of 31 January 1991 on trade unions’ rights and guarantees is repealed.

Chairmen of the Parliament Dumitru Diacov
Chisinau, 7 July 2000.  No. 1129 XIV.
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