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Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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Including Belarus into a Special Paragraph Was Unexpectedness for BCDTU Leader

Alexander Yaroshuk, Chairperson of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, believes that Belarus was included into special paragraph because of irresponsible steps, taken by the Belarusian official delegation in Geneva and provocation with counterfeiting signatures that the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB) has organized,

- The suggestion on special paragraphу was made unexpectedly. As usual, a week was dedicated to consultations and negotiations during which possible decisions were voiced. And this time the issue on application of special paragraph was not raised. Therefore, when at session the speaker from Group of Employers suggested including Belarus into a special paragraph, it was unexpected for us, - said Alexander Yaroshuk.

BCDTU leader assumes that the proposal of a special paragraph was connected with the nature of discussion of the Belarusian issue. Very serious claims have been put forward to our Government. For the first time there were no “routine” statements, it was felt that participants of discussion were very well prepared. Presentations, made by a representative of the Russian FNPR, delegates from trade unions of Germany, Ukraine, Finland, and a representative of the German Government, who spoke on behalf of 27 countries of the European Union, were properly supported by arguments. In turn, those who supported the Belarusian Government and these were representatives of the Governments of Russia, China, Cuba, Bangladesh, India, Iraq and Iran, used general words. Besides, the fact of falsification of signatures under the FPB appeal shocked everybody and delegates did not hide their indignation.

According to Alexander Yaroshuk, the position of official Belarusian delegation played its role, which was far from the last one and also caused suggesting a special paragraph. So, Vice-Premier Andrey Kobyakov, the head of the delegation lashed out with criticism and accusations against BCDTU leader. “I shall leave this fact without comments, - said Alexander Yaroshuk. However, to become personal during an official presentation contradicts to bon ton rules”.

As well, Alexander Yaroshuk told how Leonid Kozik, the FPB Chairperson tried to assure participants of session that rights of members of the Federation are violated much more often. However, BCDTU leader brought some examples, including exemption of FPB structures of office rental fees, application of provisions of the General Agreement only on members of the Federation and others, which at once made obvious slyness of the head of the pro-governmental Belarusian Trade Unions.

A representative of Ecuador, protecting the Belarusian Government, cited Colombia as an example, where there facts of murders of trade union activists have taken place. In reply to it, the participant of the Colombian Delegation of Workers asked him to not speculate on this theme, which has no relation to Belarus. He said: “We delegated nobody the right to speak on our behalf”, and was supported by applause of participants of session.

As Alexander Yaroshuk assumes, all these aspects have resulted in suggestion to apply special paragraph.

The official decision will be taken on 15 June 2007. However, as Alexander Yaroshuk thinks, the decision about special paragraph will not influence in any way the main conclusion, which is made by participants of the International Labor Conference: there is evident absence of progress in elimination of infringements of trade union rights. Alexander Yaroshuk is sure: “And all fault for is with the Government, official Belarusian delegation and FPB. They failed to approach this issue with the appropriate business-like responsibility. On top of this, at the final stage they have arranged provocation with falsification of signatures”.

At the same time, he once again emphasized that is necessary to take the date of 21 June 2007 easy. “The door remains open after 21 June, as well. All is in hands of the Government of Belarus, for which some weeks are necessary to correct the situation and, as a result, to return preferences” - noted Alexander Yaroshuk.


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