Campaign to get independent union recognition in Belarus

In Belarus, ruled by totalitarian regime of A. Lukashenko, the workers are not afraid to voice their discontent and to join independent unions. The situation of RUPP "Granite" company in Mikashevichi town in southern part of Brest region is symptomatic. Nearly 600 or employed by the company 3200 workers at one time have announced on their disaffiliation from the FPB. More than 200 workers, mainly quarry dump truck drivers, wrote applications on their affiliation to Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP), member of the ITUC affiliate BKDP. At the founding general meeting they have set up a primary-level BNP union organization.

Not surprisingly, the harassment of leaders of newly organized independent union soon has begun. Union leader Oleg Stakhaevich and Liudmila Litvinko, wife of another union activist, were dismissed. Other workers and union activists are threatened to have problems during the work place assessment test certifying their professional competency and fitness. Yet, the workers would not tolerate that and announced their intention to strike to get union leaders reinstated and the union recognised.

The ITUC is also calling its affiliates, union activists and human rights defenders to join the solidarity campaign with RUPP "Granite" company workers.

Belarus has been continuously criticized by the ILO for non-compliance with the international labour standards. The Commission on Inquire produced 12 recommendations, which have not been implemented by the state so far, despite some cosmetic moves on the side of the government. One of these recommendations specifically refers to the obligatory registration of unions by the authorities.

ITUC protest letter