Alyaksandr Yarashuk: “Violations of trade unions rights in Belarus have mass, systematic, malicious character”

2009 2009-11-19T18:28:11+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

ndependent trade unions are convinced tat the EU won’t return trade preferences to Belarus without consent of the International Labour Organisation.

During the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Brussels, the chairman of the Belarusian Trade Unions Federation Leanid Kozik offered to lift by the EU economic limitations for Eastern Partnership countries. To a much degree he meant return of trade preferences for Belarus.

“Such initiatives of Kozik just contribute to the situation when no changes will take place. He is not the right person to ask for return of preferences. The matter concerns first of all violations of trade unions rights which have mass, systematic and malicious character. And moreover, it’s happening for the last 10 years. All the decisions adopted by the International Labour Organisation, show that there is no considerable progress in implementing ILO recommendations on discontinuation of trade unions rights’ violations. This fact is not questioned by anyone, including the European Commission. This organisation issued such a verdict and deprived our country preferences on recommendation of the ILO and the European Confederation of Trade Unions. If Kozik goes to Brussels and says that everything is alright with respect to trade unions rights in our country, on the one hand he openly ignores the ILO conclusions, and on the other he confirms once again that the Federation of Trade Unions is not a trade union at all. It is an organisation completely vassal to the Belarusian authorities,” said one of the leaders of the independent trade union movement of Belarus Alyaksandr Yarashuk in an interview to website.

According to the leader of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, the European Union cannot adopt decisions based upon the statements of the Belarusian regime or “mister Kozik who provides service to this regime”.

“The EU can adopt decisions only basic upon conclusions and witnesses of some serious organisation which carries out monitoring of the situation with trade unions’ rights in Belarus. There is only one such organisation like this in the world, the International Labour Organisation. And in its decision at June conference of the ILO it wrote in black and white that there is no considerable progress in implementation of the ILO recommendations on eradication of trade unions rights violations. By the way, recently EU Ambassador to Belarus Mr Holzapfel also said that the ILO hadn’t noticed such a progress. That is why the European Commission hasn’t even considered the issue of returning trade preferences. It means that basing upon Kozik’s appeals the EU should come in serious conflict with the ILO,” the expert believes.

Moreover, Yarashuk notes that all the 27 countries of the EU would come in conflict with their national trade union centres.

“That is why in this concrete case I am convinced that the EU would not come in conflict with trade unions no matter what the reason is. It would be a risky step. European trade unions, unlike politicians of the EU countries, are less concerned by any policies, any diplomacy. They understand that if there is a weak link in their system, the Belarusian Congress of Independent Trade Unions, which is the member of the International Confederation of Trade Unions, it should be preserved at any cost. Our European colleagues do not want us to be destroyed and will support us by all means. And it means, they wouldn’t allow to go on the leash of Kozik and thus contribute to our destroying,” Yarashuk said.