The elimination of all independent trade union associations will cause a serious response
IndustriALL Global Union called on the ILO to send its mission to Belarus in order to stop the destruction of independent trade unions. This unprecedented initiative is due to the fact that last week the story of the independent labour movement ended. All such organizations are prohibited by court. However, experts think that the government is playing with fire. The international trade union movement is able to strike a very serious response.
The head of IndustriALL Atle Høie turned to the Belarusian authorities demanding to accept international inspectors who will verify the circumstances of the arrest, as well as the conditions of the maintenance and health status of trade union activists in custody.
But regardless of the answer from Minsk, Atle Høie demanded the immediate release of all trade union leaders who are now behind bars. At the same time, he emphasized that all the defeated trade unions remain members of IndustriALL .
The : “During the court, it was established that the leaders and a number of members of these trade unions actively participated in destructive activities, mass events violating public order, distributed information products of extremist content. Instead, they had to protect the labour and social and economic rights of members of trade unions, the prevention of illegal strikes, downtime, escalation in society. The Prosecutor General’s Office noted that criminal cases have been instituted on all the facts of unlawful activities, as well as administrative measures were taken. The resolutions of the Supreme Court were adopted on the basis of evidence reliably confirming the facts of violations of the requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the Law “On Trade Unions” and other legislative acts, including governing the use of foreign assistance. “
Meanwhile, experts believe that the International Labour Organization (ILO) may take the most radical measures to protect the Belarusian trade unions. In particular, we are talking about the use of a paragraph 33 of its charter. For the entire 102-year history of this organization, it was used only once-in 2011 against Myanmar. Then ILO urged all countries to interrupt any relations with the military junta of this state. And this had an action: Myanmar was in the economic blockade.
This threat was commented by the former head of the FPB (the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus), presidential candidate of 2001 Vladimir Goncharik. He, in particular, noted: “At the last meeting of the ILO did not consider this issue, but now, when the situation has deteriorated sharply, this issue may arise. And this means that the sanctions will increase even more. No matter how optimistic the rhetoric is, sanctions primarily hit on ordinary people. GDP decreases, inflation rises, prices rise. Enterprises are still afloat, some of them, as far as I know, even work in three shifts – they fulfill orders from Russia. So far, the Belarusian industry is supported by the Russian market. However, all the technologies are located in the West, and not in Russia, even China borrowed its technologies from the West. By the way, the liquidated trade unions opposed the imposition of sanctions.”
IndustriALL Global Union’s website contains a list of leaders and activists of independent trade unions who are currently behind bars. Among them are such authoritative and well-known, including abroad, figures as Aliaksandr Yarashuk – Chairperson of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), Siarhei Antusevich – Vice-Chairperson of the BKDP, Hennadz Fiadynich – Vice-chairperson of the Radio and Electronic workers’ union (REP), and many other.
IndustriALL states: “Poorly made, unconvincing, fabricated news materials are some of the ongoing attacks from the Belarusian regime. The state propaganda machine strengthened its attacks on IndustriALL, ILO and national trade unions. Belarusian state television showed a film, containing illegal videos from the trade union offices as well as the illegally obtained images of IndustriALL, in which they tried to show the corrupt leaders of the trade unions.”
The International Organization announces the beginning of the pressure campaign for the diplomatic representations of Belarus: “Taking into account these egregious violations of human rights and the basic rights of trade unions, IndustriALL calls the member organizations to write a letter and deliver it to the Embassy of Belarus in its country.”
Vladimir Goncharik emphasizes: “The liquidated trade unions were not actually engaged in anti -state activities. This is a big political mistake. We must always remember that a holy place is never empty: new structures, underground or semi-underground, will certainly appear in their place. The authorities are trying to make everyone think along the same lines. But there can be no single opinion; now discontent is driven into the kitchens – and this is already a dangerous symptom.”