Salihorsk authorities throw obstacles in independent trade unions’ way (video)

Salihorsk builders and miners have come out against the local authorities; they staged a rally to support of establishing an independent trade union in one of the building trusts. They asked Belsat to cover the situation so that as many as many people as possible could know about the problem.

It is the ‘Rammantazhbud’ building trust workers who are trying to defend their rights by legal means. The trust was previously owned by Belaruskali, a Belarusian manufacturer and exporter of potash fertilizers.

“They made it [the trust] into a separate legal entity. We needed to hold a constituent assembly for those who used to be members of the NPG [Belaruskali’s Independent Trade Union of Miners] and get registration,” NPG Chairman Syarhei Charkasau said.

After the trust stopped being part of Belaruskali, 400 former members of the Independent Trade Union of Miners made two attempts to register a primary trade union organization of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union with the local authorities. The activists convened and minuted a constituent assembly and filed all necessary documents to the corresponding body.

“The gist of social partnership, which the Labour Code promotes, is cooperating and working together. But Salihorsk authorities failed to register our organization,” Mikalai Zimin, Chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union, told

According to ‘Rammantazhbud’ employees, Aleh Paskrobka, Chairman of Salihorsk district executive committee, not only denied registration, but also failed to give reason for the refusal. The officials’ actions are nothing but a violation of the Belarusian Constitution and the International Labour Organization Convention Nr 87 which Belarus signed, the protesters say.

“We appealed to the international organizations, our Congress of Trade Unions, independent media, including Belsat,” Mr Charkasau said.

As a result, the issue has come into focus of not only to Belarusian trade unions, but also, for example, IndustriALL Global Union. Its General Secretary Valter Sanches appealed to Mr Paskrobka and president Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Mr Zimin stressed.

The Salihorsk authorities did not authorize the workers’ march; they were allowed to hold a rally at a stadium on the outskirts of the city. But, despite the increased police presence and search of persons, the event took place.

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