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Official Federation of Trade Unions Violates Workers’ Rights

2007 2007-04-06T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”


The administration of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus has instructed directors of enterprises to be guided by the adopted by the FTUB Presidium procedure of extending provisions of the collective agreement on workers on behalf of whom it has not been concluded.

As the Belarusian Independent Trade Union Chairperson Vasil Korabau informed, this procedure violates the existing labor legislation and infringes rights of the workers who are not members of the FTUB trade unions.

For example, the Resolution of the Presidium of the Federation says that collective agreement is concluded between the management and a trade union organization uniting majority of workers of enterprise. Considering pressure that the authorities exert on members of independent trade unions, it is not surprising that in the country there is no enterprise where their primary organizations outnumber the FTUB structures.

Thus, according to the Resolution of Federation, members of independent trade unions automatically lose an opportunity to conclude collective agreement with the employer.

As a matter of fact, Article 365 of the Labor Code says directly that the only condition of extending provisions of the collective agreement on the worker on behalf of whom it was not concluded, is his or her written consent.

However the FTUB leadership decided that the Parties, which have concluded the labor contract, should give their consent and the worker can only ask them about it and submit a written application.

The Federation Council Presidium Resolution No 219 dated 25 October 2006 instructs the FTUB member-unions primary trade union organizations and their social partners to be guided by the above-mentioned procedure.

In addition, the document contains a provision according to which the FTUB leadership instructs members of the National Assembly House of Representatives, sharing the platform of Federation to support changes of the legislation on collective negotiations.

The FTUB position contradicts to any common sense. It turns out, that the worker should join a trade union of Federation to use privileges, which he (she) has earned. According to the Law the worker is not required to write any applications that the employer and trade union, which concluded collective agreement, would consider together later and then decide whether or not to give this worker privileges. The Law says the worker should only express consent to be covered by collective agreement,’ - noted Vasil Korabau.

The BITU leader expressed concern that the FTUB Resolution can be literally included into the new Labor Code.

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