Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
Belarusian Independent Union (BNP) Free Metalworkers' Union (SPM)
Belarusian Free Trade Union (SPB) Belarusian trade Union of workers of radio electronic industry (REP)

BKDP-Member of International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC)

Twinned regimes

The zigzags of history, no matter how incredible and mysterious they may seem, sometimes bring the destinies of two countries which are situated in different geographical zones and have different social and humanitarian traditions together. One would think what things Belarus and Myanmar (Burma) standing thousands miles away could have in common. As it turned out there are things in common. The BKDP Chairperson Alexander Yaroshuk presents his own reasoning on the issue.

The people of these two states feel oppressed by their totalitarian regimes. In Mynmar case we are talking military junta and in Belarus – presidential dictatorship. On the whole, there is no essential difference between them since “horse-radish isn’t sweeter than garden-radish!”.

These two regimes became alike and notorious on the international arena due to their tough attitude towards the workers and the policy of suffocation of trade union movement. The Myanmar regime gained its notoriety when it has introduced forced labor into everyday life. Without further ado, the workers like slaves were used to be simply fettered by metal chains to their workplaces. We (after all, Belarus is a European country) have solved the problem of enslaving workers in a more elegant manner: instead of metal chains we have used legal chains - we have introduced general and universal short-term contract labor. The workers and employees now are kept on a short leash and they can free themselves from that tight leash only when their contracts are not prolonged any longer.

The efforts of both regimes in violating the rights of workers and their unions were properly noted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU). Myanmar and Belarus have collected all the punishments imaginable and foreseen by the ILO Charter. Both Myanmar and Belarus are the only two states on this planet that have been withdrawn from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in trade with EU countries. The military Asian junta has received this disgraceful and shameful sentence in 1999 while it’s European congener (Belarus) – in 2007.

Myanmar was the first that has found itself in this historical trap and it looks like that this country may be the first one to succeed in getting out of this trap. The latest news and developments in Mynmar are the striking ones on TV news programs. The most amazing thing about the events in Mynmar is that the strong movement against military junta was headed by monks and nuns!

One cannot stop himself from saying: mysterious are the ways of the Lord. Maybe, if the Lord deliberately has brought our destinies together, He may have foreseen for us the same deliverance from the dictatorship? Probably, very soon our Orthodox Church, like Buddhist monks and nuns, will mobilize itself and will assume such a great and noble mission? The devil (the Lord) may play and trick…


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