International trade union leaders call to end persecution of Fiadynich and Komlik
Valter Sanches, General Secretary of the IndustriALL Global Union, and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), have expressed deep concern and outrage at the recent searches in the offices of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) and the Belarusian Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry (REP) in a letter to President Lukashenka, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prosecutor General of Belarus.
They note that both organizations are members of IndustriALL and ITUC and condemn the harassment, including searches, detention and interrogation of leaders and staffers of these unions, one of whom, Ihar Komlik still remains in custody.
“We have serious reasons to believe that all these actions are aimed at undermining the activities of the independent trade union movement in Belarus in retaliation for an active civil position of trade union leaders and the activities of independent trade unions for the protection of the socio-economic interests of the working people of the Republic of Belarus,” says the letter.
Both ITUC and IndustriALL stress that the acts of harassment “constitute state interference in the activities of independent trade unions,” which is a flagrant violation of the International Labor Organization’s Convention No. 87 “On Freedom of Association,” and demand immediate termination of criminal proceedings against Henadz Fiadynich and Ihar Komlik, dropping all groundless accusations and the immediate release of Ihar Komlik from custody.
The international organizations reserve the right to inform the ILO, the EU and other relevant international institutions on violations committed in respect of the BNP and REP trade unions.