News / 05.03.18

Walter Sanchez: "We are in solidarity with REP Trade Union"

Walter Sanchez, Secretary-General of the Global Union IndustriALL, sent a solidarity support letter to Gennady Fedynich, Chairman of the Belarusian Independent REP Trade Union.

The Global Union IndustriALL follows the developments in Belarus, strongly condemns the mass interrogations of more than 400 members of the REP Trade Union, and believes that such actions of the Investigative Committee undermine the confidence of trade union members in the leadership of the REP, and contribute to discrediting the union and hinder the conduct of its statutory activities.

The IndustriALL was pleased to receive information on the cancellation of the "parasite tax", which was largely caused by the efforts of the REP Trade Union. At the same time, Ordinance No. 1 "On the Promotion of Population's Employment" adopted on January 25, 2018, instead of Ordinance No. 3 "On the Prevention of Social Dependence" clearly indicates that the Belarusian authorities intend to continue punishing unemployed citizens for the economic and political drawbacks of the country's leadership.

We have seen how your union's active attitude towards short-sighted authorities' decisions has led, from the very beginning of last year, to a new round of persecutions against independent trade unions, and especially the REP Trade Union and its leaders. The IndustriALL expresses its solidarity support to the Belarusian REP Trade Union and supports all the legal actions that the trade union, as well as you, Gennady Fedynich, personally and Igor Komlik, are going to undertake for your defence.

Within the solidarity campaign to independent trade unions of Belarus and with the aim to inform the public, the Global Union IndustriALL plans to hold protest actions against the pressure on independent trade unions of Belarus. The protests will involve member organizations of the IndustriALL in the countries of the CIS region and in a number of European countries.

Besides, the IndustriALL plans to address its affiliates in the European Union to contact their parliamentarians and national governments and urge them to send letters to the leadership of Belarus demanding to obey the ILO Conventions on trade unions' and workers' rights, which had been ratified by Belarus, as well as demanding to stop the criminal prosecution of Gennady Fedynich and Igor Komlik on falsified grounds.

Along with this, the IndustriALL will send a letter to the organizing committee of the Summer European Games in Belarus scheduled for 2019 with information about the persecution of independent trade unions and their leaders in the Republic of Belarus with a demand to inform the country's leadership about the inadmissibility of violations of trade unions' and workers' rights in Belarus.

The Global Union IndustriALL conducts ongoing consultations with the ILO so that issues of systematic violation of trade union rights, including those related to non-implementation of ILO guidelines, remain the focus of attention of international community and international organizations.

The IndustriALL has offered the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) to hold a joint mission in 2018 to the Republic of Belarus to study the situation on the ground, meet union activists and the government of the Republic of Belarus.

We hope that the steps we have planned will force the Belarusian authorities to stop pressing trade unions and prosecuting its leaders and will contribute to the implementation of ILO guidelines and the establishment of a full-fledged social dialogue in the country.

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