The permissible principle for exercising trade union activity in Belarus likely is to be abolished
The “Interfax” agency on October 9, 2006 with reference to the Presidential press-service informed that Alexander Lukashenko gave his agreement to the draft concept of a new law “On Trade Unions”. In conformity with this concept, the trade unions can be established without having a status of a legal entity.
“The concept produced by the Government envisages the designing of a new law “On Trade Unions” to regulate in a comprehensive and systematic manner the issues related to establishment, registration and exercising of activities of trade unions and their organizational structures, alliances (associations) of trade unions”--- noted the officer of the Presidential press-service.
The press-service officer stated that the draft of new law is based on international standards in this sphere, commitments of Belarus within the framework of the International Labor Organization and the established practice of functioning of trade unions in the country.
Specifically, according to this concept “a new type of trade unions will be established for which the status of legal entity is not required”. “For this type of unions no legal entity status is required; such unions are not liable to state registration but will be put on a regular register in local public executive and administrative bodies”--- explained the press-service officer.
“If one can take on trust what was said by the presidential press-service then one can unambiguously say that it is a significant step forward – considers the BKDP leader Alexander Yaroshuk. – This document abolishes the permissible principle for exercising trade union activities and introduces a notifying one. The permissible principle of a clear discriminative character appeared in 1999 when the Presidential Decree # 2 dated 26 January was adopted. Moreover, it violated brutally the ILO Convention 87 “On the right to organize”, which has ratified in due course. Exactly from that time, the development of free and independent unions became impossible since not a single organization, which was set up, could not be registered and therefore, could not exercise its activities legally. That is why it was not accidental that the demand to register our organizations got the priority in the list of 12 recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry addressed to the Government of Belarus to eliminate the violations of trade union rights. Alexander Yaroshuk underlined that the introduction of the permissible principle is undoubtedly a progressive legal norm but, at the same time, he is sure that it is too early to be optimistic, as the mentioned law is not published yet. “We may face some unpleasant surprises. I mean the notorious representativity factor, which the Ministry of Justice tried to introduce several years ago. Such legal provision can push us out of legal field”--- concluded the leader of the national independent trade union center.
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