ITUC condemns wave of attacks on Belarusian trade unionists

photo: Nur Photo / AFP

The ITUC has condemned the latest attacks by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus on the independent trade union movement there.

Earlier in September, senior activists from the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU) and members of the ITUC-affiliated Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) were arrested, detained and subjected to searches by the state security services.

This continues the widespread repression against BKDP members that has intensified one year after Lukashenko’s flawed presidential election victory in August 2020.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “The news coming out of Belarus is horrifying. For too long the working people there have suffered under this corrupt regime that denies their fundamental labour rights and freedoms.

“Instead of implementing the reforms recommended by the clear and unequivocal judgements of the ILO, the government again turns to repression in an attempt to silence the voice of the independent trade union movement in the country.

“We expect to see further pressure from governments to force the Lukashenko regime to respect international labour standards, including the right to freedom of association and the right to strike. And we call on the Belarusian government to release all the unionists, to stop this policy of repression and to listen to independent unions, instead of harassing them.”

The 2021 ITUC Global Rights Index rates Belarus as one of ten worst countries for working people, with “no guarantee of rights”.

The ITUC and IndustriALL have written to the Prime Minister of Belarus, Roman Golovchenko, demanding the release of all union leaders, activists and members who have been unlawfully detained on account of their union activities and struggle to protect fundamental rights.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus