10 June, 2022The government of Belarus was widely condemned at the International Labour Organization International Labour Conference #ILC2022 for its attacks on independent trade unions, by workers' representatives, governments and employer bodies.Despite this, the country didn't even wait until the end of the ILC to intensify the crackdown.
The Prosecutor General, Andrei Shved, has just announced a plan to eliminate independent unions. He submitted a petition to the Supreme Court to terminate the activities of a number of trade unions:
- Union federation the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
- The Belarusian Free Trade Union (SPB)
- The Free Trade Union of Metalworkers (SPM)
- The Belarusian Independent Trade Union of Mineworkers, Chemists, Fuel and Energy Workers, Transport Workers, Workers and Other Workers (BNP)
- The Belarusian Trade Union of Radio and Electronics Workers (REP)
The Prosecutor General claims that the activities of independent unions have been politicized, and their leaders are engaged in "destructive activities." Criminal proceedings have been instituted.
IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie says:
“The appearance of the government of Belarus at the CAS was clearly a charade – they had no intention of complying with the conclusions, as shown by the fact that they moved to ban unions before the conclusions were even announced.
“In the seventeen years since an ILO Commission of Inquiry found that the government of Belarus had undermined union independence, no progress has been made. Instead, Belarus is moving in the opposite direction, abusing the processes of international diplomacy to provide cover for its retreat from democracy and brutal suppression of all dissent. There must be serious diplomatic consequences.”