BNP Leader Nikolai Zimin calls on workers of RUPE "Granit"-union members to strengthen unity
Nikolai Zimin, Chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP), has sent an appeal to the members of the BNP primary organization at the Republic's Unitary Production Enterprise (RUPE) "Granit" with a call to strengthen the unity among the ranks of the organization and to exhibit solidarity with the sacked union activists.
Appeal of the Chairman of the BNP Nikolai Zimin to the BNP members at the RUPE "Granit"
Dear brothers and sisters! Highly esteemed "Granit" workers! Never for a moment have we ceased to be interested in the situation with the BNP primary organization at the "Granit". More than half a year has elapsed after the foundation meeting of the union organization at your enterprise. However, despite our tremendous efforts to have the organization registered, they are still unsuccessful. And there are good reasons.
The main reason is in our state as such. It is not interested in appearance and activities of such trade unions, which are controlled by workers themselves. There are numerous confirmations in the form of different bylaws.
Bureaucrats are always escaping a direct denial of the right of people to the freedom of association on the professional principle, i.e. to form trade unions. To make this escape possible, they have the Edict of the President of the Republic of Belarus of January 26, 1999, No. 2 "On Some Measures to Regulate Activities of Political Parties, Trade Unions and Other Public Associations". On the basis of this document, after the above date Ц January 26, 1999, Ц not a single trade union organization was registered in our country.
For the sake of "safeguarding", in addition to the above Edict, another document was issued Ц the Statement of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus of August 30, 2005, No. 48, which defines the list of documents required for state registration of organizational structures of trade unions.
Thus, on the basis of these documents, in order to register a trade union organization, it must have a document certifying its legal address, which should be issued by the owner of the room. Given that the state is the owner of enterprises; and the state itself had adopted the rules for registration, it is impossible to receive such a document.
The Law "On Trade Unions", which entitles citizens to voluntarily establish unions of their choice, and to join trade unions, was restricted by bylaws, which have toughened the procedure for formation of trade unions and made it practically impossible.
However, this is not a reason why we should not defend our labour and socio-economic rights and interests. And you, the workers of the RUPE "Granit" are the proof of it.
Belarusian workers are not going to put up with the poverty and lawlessness at their enterprises. The self-organization activities of workers in Mikashevichi, Pinsk, Grodno and Bobruisk are most vivid examples. It happens everywhere, where people have finally understood that a pocket trade union is just an administration's folding-screen, used to hide the absence of social protection, safe labour and decent wages at enterprises of our country.
Today, establishment of an independent trade union is a very hard job that requires you courage, fortitude and confidence in your legitimate actions.
Besides, we should not forget about other important factors. In the first place Ц it is a clear desire to become a member of a trade union. To define, of what trade union a persons want to be a member. It is not easy for a worker. Your example has clearly shown what the authorities are doing with those who have dared to stand up for their labour interests, Ц the example of Oleg Stakhaevich, Lyudmila Litvinko, Gennady Pavlovskiy, Nikolai Karyshev and Vitaly Pashechko.
These people took the responsibility to defend the honour and pride of the working man, having organized an independent trade union. Therefore, they need your support and your understanding.
All the members of the BNP union organization at the RUPE "Granit" have a core of a person, a citizen and a worker, which cannot be broken or bent and which makes him or her a human. These are not lofty words Ц this is the very essence of human life. Now, the fate of your union at the RUPE "Granit" depends on each of you.
You need to exhibit solidarity, mutual support and understanding of each other in order to self-organize and resist. We can hope for success only through organized actions. Don't forget: when we are united Ц we are invincible!