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FPB to oppose preferences deprivation

2007 2007-05-22T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

“Rise, the Huge Country” to Preserve Preferences…

The Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB) appeals to people to act against depriving [the country] of trading privileges. At enterprises and in trade unions that are part of the FPB, forms of statements are disseminated in order to protest against decision of the European Union on temporary exclusion of Belarus from system of trading preferences. They are prepared on behalf of trade union organizations. The form should contain the name of trade union, number of members and its chairperson should sign the statement.

The Federation urges workers “to express deep concern with the European Union’s decision to exclude since 21 June 2007 the Republic of Belarus from the list of users of the General System of Tariff Preferences”.

“This measure would negatively affect hundreds thousand of ordinary citizens, participating in output of products, including those exported to the EU countries…” On top of this: “An attempt to link application of economic sanctions with the far-fetched claims, related to respect of trade union rights in the Republic of Belarus causes our bewilderment…

…In this respect we would like to state that in relation to our trade union organization there are no facts of infringement of our rights and we inform that all problems and disputes arising in this sphere we always solve through dialogue between concerned parties within the framework of social partnership”.

Coarse nature of phrases provides for an assumption that rank and file members of trade union organizations were very unlikely to write this statement.

It is funny but activists of independent trade unions, as well, have been offered to sign such forms. For example, Sergey Antusevich, a BITU primary organization Chairperson, whose organization suffered a triple reduction as a result of pressure, exerted by the employer. Valentine Lazarenkov and Vladimir Feoktistov, activists of Free Trade Union of Belarus also received such offers. By that time both of them have been dismissed for trade union activity.

“We address to all organizations and establishments requesting to make our position available to the International Labor Organization and the EU managing bodies”.

“We understand, that a 400 million Euro annual short receipt by the national budget, caused by the European Union’s sanctions would result, first of all, in workers’ decrease in incomes, reduction of social guarantees, loss of jobs” - says the statement.

It would have been better if in due time the Government of Belarus realized it and then trade union officials, representing structures controlled by authorities wouldn’t have to write such tearful opuses.

Alexander Yaroshuk, Chairperson of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions very laconically commented on occurrence of this statement: “If the God wishes to punish a person, he deprives this person of his reason”. Gennady Fedynich, the Chairperson of Belarusian Radio and Electronics Workers’ Union (REWU) is sure that this document as well as possible testifies that trade unions of the Federation represent the structure, which has been included into the state system rather than stand on the guard of rights of workers.

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