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'Naftan': Belarusian authorities continue violating rights of independent trade unions

2009 2009-01-12T19:03:09+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

After Polimir Company joined Naftan oil refinery, the Independent Trade Union applied for re-registration.

But the city authorities denied the fact that the independent trade union became a common organization too, RFE/RL reports.

According to trade union activist Uladzimir Rusin, it is the first time for 15 years when the Independent Trade Union has faced problems with re-registration:

‘We expected an ordinary formal procedure, Polimir lost independence, we belong to Naftan now, and we thought our trade union would obtain a new status. There was an Independent Trade Union of Polimir, and now there should be an Independent Trade Union of Naftan. Our legal department got to the city executive committee, and they have been telling us during the month the documents will be ready soon. But we have received a refusal. We have thought we live in a law-based state, but the city authorities have shown us we should use other methods to defend our right of existence of the independent trade union of Naftan,’ the trade union activist told.

Ivan Sviatokha, head of the independent trade union, has already sent his complaint to the prosecutor’s office because he finds unlawful a refusal signed by head of the city executive committee Lidziya Afanasyieva.

Moreover, the Naftan administration admitted the independent trade union common for all its structures: director general Viachaslau Yakushau, offered trade union activists to take part in creating new collective contract.

While employees of Polimir structural unit work according to Naftan’s collective contract, labor contract with them have been re-settled, saying they are working for Naftan Company. That’s why the activists think it is illogical for the city authorities to view the Independent Trade Union as a separate organization of a separate enterprise.

Moreover, since 1 December, when the two enterprises were united, employees of Naftan, who have never worked for Polimir, will join the Independent Trade Union. That’s why workers think that non-recognition of the independent trade union as a common organization for the whole enterprise is a purposeful intention of the city authorities to reduce influence of the independent trade union on staff.

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