Belarusian Federation of Trade Unions Forges Steelworkers’ Signatures?

2007 2007-06-03T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Source: www.charter97.org

Trying to protect its own government from losing trade preferences caused by violation of trade unions’ rights in Belarus the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) resorts to various tricks, including, as site www.praca-by.info reports subject to the claim of the International Trade Union Association of Steelworkers,copying of signatures under the appeal of a ‘group of working people’ to the European Commission.

The standpoint occupied by the FTUB is rather strange for the trade union center: instead of influencing the Belarusian Government together with the international trade union community for it to perform the Convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and recommendations of the Investigation Commission the Federation showing its engagement with the government is sending heaps of letters all over the world trying to prove that there are no problems with the trade unions’ rights in Belarus.

At the FTUB web-site there is a message running that the trade unions of a number of countries signed the appeal of the ‘group of working people of the ILO to the European Commission for initiating the annulment of the decision on preferences cancellation’. The FTUB called its colleagues from other countries to demonstrate their fraternal solidarity and sign appeal of the group of working people of the ILO to the European Commission for initiating the annulment of the above-mentioned decision. Among the undersigned’, the FTUB site reports, ‘there are also representatives of the International Trade Union Association of Steelworkers’.

But as Chairman of the International Trade Union Association Nikolai Shatokhin stated, ‘due to irresponsibility of certain officials of the FTUB’ the international trade union movement was misinformed about the appeal adopted by the International Trade Union Association of Steelworkers’. What a surprise we felt when seeing the copied signatures of our sitting’s participants under the appeal of the ‘group of working people’ which we had never signed’, it is said in the letter of Nikolai Shatokhin to heads of membership organizations of the International Trade Union Association of Steelworkers.

With regard to this scandalous incident Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Mikhail Shmakov sent a letter to Leanid Kozik. It is worth being fully quoted:

’29 May this year in the afternoon we received the letter about expelling the Republic of Belarus from the users of the Summarized System of Tariff Preferences of the European Union.

With this in view I would like to stress that such like decision became possible only due to unconcealed reluctance of the government of Belarus to perform the Convention of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and to follow the recommendations of the Investigation Commission and the sharp end of our trade- union action is to be aimed first of all against such standpoint of the government and at protection of the world-wide admitted rights of trade unions.

With a deal of confusion I apprehended today’s fax on forgery of signatures of the participants of the International Trade Union Association of Steelworkers’ sitting in Minsk under the appeal of the ‘group of working people of the ILO to the European Commission on the issue of expelling the Republic of Belarus from the users of the Summarized System of Tariff Preferences of the European Union. It seems to me that such like ‘error of a technical worker’ has seriously damaged the consolidated standpoint of trade unions especially now on the eve of the 96th international labor conference.

We consider that the days left before 21 June 2007 are to be spent by the government of Belarus on taking decisive actions for implementation of the ILO Commission’s recommendations thus removing the tension due to the European decision coming into effect. As far as I am concerned that is the only civilized way of solution of this problem “.

Besides, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia also responded to the active international correspondence of the FTUB. Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Vitaliy Budko sent the replying letter of Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Mikhail Shmakov to Leanid Kozik due to the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus letters often being sent to our membership organizations. Just for the sake of information.

From now on the international community seems to have got the full right to treat any letters and appeals of the FTUB with a great deal of doubt.

слухаць Радыё рацыя Міжнародная федэрацыя правоў чалавека Беларуская Інтэрнэт-Бібліятэка КАМУНІКАТ Грамадзкі вэб-архіў ВЫТОКІ Антидискриминационный центр АДЦ 'Мемориал' Prava-BY.info Беларускі Праўны Партал Межрегиональная правозащитная группа - Воронеж/Черноземье
Московская Хельсинкская группа
Молодежное Правозащитное Движение
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