Independent trade unions go to the law
The Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions filed an unprecedented lawsuit on the elimination of adverse discrimination of members of independent trade unions in the sphere of labor relations.
The lawsuit was filed to Chashniki district court of Vitsebsk oblast for protection of Aliaksei Habryel, leader of the primary unit of the Free trade union of workers of Lukoml hydropower plant, whose labor contract was not extended by the plant administration.
The plaintiffs, being guided by Article 14 of the Labor Code, demand the renewal of the labor relations with Aliaksei Habryel who worked at the hydropower plant as a watchman and simultaneously was involved with trade union activity. Despite the formal reasons for non-extending the contract (Habryel has already reached the pension age), the head of the elarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions Aliaksandr Yarashuk considers it as an evident fact of discrimination on the criterion of trade union affiliation.
‘First of all, Habryel is the head of the trade union at the power plant. Secondly, he is an active many and has all the time tried to achieve the conclusion of a collective agreement with the enterprise administration. Taking into consideration that the month before the dismissal the director of the enterprise openly said that ‘the labor contract to you won’t be extended as you are hyperactive in the trade union’ we think that it is an eloquent case of discrimination depending on the trade union affiliation. At present there are many people over 60 working at the enterprise. Some of them are watchmen as well. We will again check our court and see whether they can make decisions independently,’ said Yarashuk.
The plaintiffs are ready to go through all the court instances and are even ready to address the UN Human Rights Committee will it be necessary.