Kozik at "Granit": Europe gives 100 US dollars for each converted FPB member
Leonid Kozik, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB), visited the Republic's Unitary Production Company (RUPE) "Granit" located in the town of Mikashevichi and engaged in extracting rocks for construction purposes. One of the workers of the enterprise told Radio Liberty about the meeting with the boss of the pro-governmental trade union federation.
The worker, Vasily by name, said that there were just a couple of dozens of ordinary workers in the "Granit" conference hall, where the meeting with Leonid Kozik took place – the most of the audience comprised the company's management.
According to Vasily, in his speech the FPB boss made a comparison with European manifestations: "Kozik said that you see how free trade unions are burning up cars in Europe: do you want the same here? He said that for every person 'dragged' by independent trade unions out of the FPB, Europe pays 100 US dollars. He also said that activists of free trade unions, which count, according to his information, 22 persons at the 'Naftan', allegedly want almost to hold managing the enterprise."
The worker said that the members of the independent trade union had expected that Leonid Kozik would address their problems. However, this did not happen, says Vasily, who was present at the meeting: "I was shocked by what happened there. I had thought that Kozik would come and get into what we have here… How our bosses are treating us, abusing in all ways, saying that we are all bad in this and in that... However, he said nothing in our defence."
Vasily said that one of the workers stood up and reminded Kozik about his earlier television performance made before they started to suppress the independent trade union: "He recalled that Kozik, once speaking on television said that if the state-owned trade union is idling at an enterprise, let them have another trade union working. The worker asked Kozik why he had said in one way on television, and quite differently here. However, Kozik began to get out, saying that he hadn't said that."
Oleg Stakhaevich, the leader of the primary organization of the independent trade union at the "Granit", said: "Speaking that we are paid some money for 'dragging' members out of the official trade union – it's absolute nonsense. Kozik has shown that he is just an element of the system, whose mission is – same as of the system as a whole – to fool and oppress people."