Statement of Executive Committee of Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions

BKDP calls on the Belarusian government to fundamentally change its policy of underestimating the threat, that country is facing and to review its decisions on no need of introducing quarantine, and take all exhaustive actions and measures aimed at preventing the uncontrolled spread of the virus and minimizing the damage it causes.

Statement of Executive Committee of BKDP

The Trade union association “Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions” - national trade union center affiliating independent and free trade unions of Belarus - states:
Today mankind has faced a serious challenge due to global spread of the COVID-19 virus. In fact, whether we want to admit this or not, but the whole world and Belarus including, is now living in this extreme situation.
The consequences of pandemic can be grave for the national economy of Belarus and for the life of the country. It can lead not only to a drop in production and to bankruptcies of enterprises but to mass infections and deaths of the people and to a disrupt of lifestyle of the society.
We urge the Government of Belarus to fundamentally change its policy of underestimating the threat facing the country, reconsider its decisions on the inexpediency of quarantine, and take all exhaustive measures aimed at preventing the uncontrolled spread of the virus, minimizing the damage it causes. Given above we consider:
* To take adequate measures recommended by the World Health Organization to block the state borders of the Republic of Belarus in order to prevent the entry of coronavirus infection from third countries.
• Immediately to adjust the work of all state bodies to prevailing conditions, to intensify activities on transfer of state administrative procedures to electronic way of execution and envisaging temporary exemption the citizens from paying for them.
* To recommend the employers, if possible, to transfer their employees to a remote work format.
* To take necessary and urgent measures to reduce the risks of coronavirus infection at workplace, including processing and disinfection of premises, ensure direct access of personnel to workplaces, offer individual and responsible approach to the organization of workplaces and work schemes for all workers.
* To protect wages and ensure payment of full wages for workers through measures agreed upon through collective bargaining.
* To adjust curriculum of all educational institutions, transfer the educational process to distance learning modes and establish quarantine for preschool childcare facilities.
* It should be appropriate to plan the work of public transport and cultural and sports institutions to eliminate the excessive number of citizens being in places of possible virus circulation.
* All workers, if necessary, should have access to free medical testing and treatment. It is necessary to guarantee payment of sick leaves from the first day to any workers infected with COVID-19 or being at risk.
* To ensure reimbursement of salaries and other incentive measures for medical personnel involved in minimizing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We urge the Government to show prudence and responsibility, to realize high price of its actions to protect workers, the entire Belarusian people from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which may be irretrievable.

Aliaksandr Yarashuk
BKDP Chairman