PRIME-MINISTER DRAWS THE GOVERNMENT AWAY FROM RESPONSIBILITY FOR VIOLATIONS OF TRADE UNION RIGHTS IN BELARUS
Belarus Prime-Minister Sergei Sidorsky meeting the FPB union activists on 25 August, 2010 has qualified the issue of violations of trade union rights in Belarus as an “imposed” one by the International Labor Organization (ILO). He also declared that the world trade union movement is blocking the return of EU trade preferences to Belarus. The head of Belarusian Government recommended the FPB to be involved more actively in solving this issue. BKDP thinks that the declarations made by the Prime-Minister can be assessed not otherwise than a next escape of the Government from the responsibility for the violations of trade union rights in the country.
“Federation of Trade Unions should play a more active role in promoting cooperation with the International Labor Organization" said Sergey Sidorsky, informs the www.tut.by.
"We would like to see the Federation of Trade Unions to play a more active role in solving the issue of promoting cooperation between our country and the International Labor Organization", - said Sergei Sidorsky.
“The Government of Belarus in the last decade had a quite a complex dialogue with the ILO on the imposed issue of respect of trade union rights in our country. In recent years, Belarus has managed to achieve a more balanced relationship with the ILO on the issue. However, this problem is not completely removed and the major goal is not achieved: the custom preferences under the Generalized System of Preferences, withdrawn from Belarus in 2007 by the EU, have not been returned back. Today, when exporting our products we have to pay taxes from 5% to 15% depending on the type of goods. So we are pressed in the external market, and our products become uncompetitive," – noted the Prime-Minister. According to him, "the major our opponents on this issue are in the international trade union movement”.
According to Sergei Sidorsky, the FPB could use more aggressively its authority and its ties among international and national trade union centers in order to influence the negotiation process and assist the Government of Belarus in the final withdrawal of claims on the part of the ILO.
From what the Prime-Minister has said at the meeting with activists of the FPB we can make the main conclusion - the Government is not willing to recognize its responsibility for the systematic violation of trade union rights in the country. The Prime-Minister alleges that the respect of trade union rights in Belarus is an imposed issue.
Who has "imposed" this problem on the Government of Belarus? May be, the ILO and the international trade union movement? May be, these were the ILO and world unions who for the last 10 years have been adopting discriminatory laws making registration and establishment of independent trade unions in the country impossible? Maybe for all those years the ILO and world unions have been exerting permanent pressure on independent unions? May be, they have been imposing squall of repressions on members of independent unions, dismissing them by using a specially invented short-term contract system – a mechanism to fight dissidence at workplace.
We would advise the Prime-Mister not to lay the blame on someone else and not to give strange instructions to the FPB organization that is not able to solve anything and has no authority whatsoever in the international trade union movement. It is obvious, that the problem of cooperation with the ILO in this case is the exclusive prerogative of the Government.
Although the Government believes that it has made considerable progress in implementing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, the CDTU and its affiliates are still awaiting firm evidence and tangible progress with regard to the Government’s commitment to ensure a friendly environment for independent trade union activity and social dialogue.
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