Norwegian partner of Belaruskali stands up for dismissed miners

Action in support of Belaruskali employees on the central square of Salihorsk, Belarus. August 18, 2020 Photo: /

The Norwegian company Yara is concerned about the situation in Belarus, the website of the company informs.

According to the Norwegian company Yara, which purchases potash fertilizers in Belarus, violation of human and worker rights in Belarus is unacceptable.

“As a long-term partner to one of Belarus’s biggest companies, Yara has over the past months sought positive change through a close and regular dialogue with the top management of BPC and Belaruskali. With the support of various stakeholders, foremost the Belarus Independent Trade Union (BITU) as well as the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and Industri Energi, and in close dialogue with the Rafto Foundation, Yara’s approach is to exercise influence through its continued presence,” says the letter to the company.

The company calls for an end to repression and an improvement in working conditions at Belaruskali. At the same time, it is noted that, despite all attempts at dialogue, the situation with the workers of the Belarusian company has not improved.

“The current situation is not tenable for Yara. I have made Yara’s position very clear in conversations with a number of stakeholders, including the Belarus Ambassador to Scandinavia Dmitry Mironchik. We need to see imminent and substantial improvements in the conditions for, and relations with Belaruskali’s workforce, and an end to the use of reprisals as well as improved occupational safety conditions,” said Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of the Norwegian company.

In September, Yara representatives came to Minsk for negotiations with representatives of the Belarusian Potash Company and trade unions. On the eve of this visit, the company posted a message on its website, in which it expressed concern about the situation in Belarus and repressions against miners. However, Yara continued to buy Belarusian potash fertilizers.

More than 100 workers of Belaruskali took part in the strike at Belaruskali. At least 55 of them have already been fired.