Belarús - Independent trade union activity suppressed

The authorities desire to prevent any independent trade union activity was underlined by the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklos Haraszti. Speaking during the presentation of his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 24 June 2015, Haraszti warned that the «systematic violation of human rights, in particular civil and political rights, continues.» He confirmed that labour rights continued to be denied, and independent labour unions were suppressed.
These views were echoed at a sub-regional meeting of IndustriALL’s affiliates in the CIS region in Moldova on 3 – 4 September. Union leaders from Belarus emphasised the urgent need for the Belorussian unions to get recognition of trade union rights and freedom of association. For several years, unions in Belarus were not allowed to organise events to celebrate 7 October, the World Day for Decent Work, since the state authorities had never approved their requests. (Unions were allowed to mark World Day for Decent Work Day in 2015, however). Union organising as it works in other countries in the region is not possible in Belarus, the leaders emphasised. They also spoke about the vicious system of short-term employment contracts affecting the majority of workers, and about the recent legal reduction of notification of dismissal from one month to one week, making it easier to remove independent trade unionists.

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