Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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Selective approach



The “Grodno Azot” Open Joint Stock Company management refused granting premises to the primary organization of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU), which planned carrying an anniversary solemn meeting. Alexander Radevich, the Company Director stated that under the order of the Grodno City Executive Committee 25 years and more is considered organization’s anniversary (www.praca-by.info).


On 5 November the BITU primary organization at “Grodno Azot” celebrated 15 years of its activities.

Sergey Lipnitsky, the first Chairperson of BITU primary organization at “Grodno Azot” said: “In November 1992, 30 workers of the Open Joint Stock Company decided to become members of Independent Trade Union of Miners. It was the first independent primary organization in the Grodno Region. Never our life was easy. During those years employer’s pressure was not that rigid and strong, but we did not know about many things and we were supposed to learn about a lot of issues. By now we have accumulated considerable experience of trade union work and good knowledge, but authorities set themselves an objective - to destroy independent trade unions, and the employer in all aspects follows instructions of the authorities. It is very difficult to hold dialogue with our management.

Sergey Antusevich, Chairperson of the organization says: “During all these 15 years we have been doing our best to protect rights of workers at our enterprise and we struggle for the right of ours primary organization to live and work, therefore it is really a great day and a holiday. Conditions are hard, but we managed to survive. And we wish to share this joy with each other, to note our achievements, to sum up, to recollect both pleasant and not so pleasant moments in history of our organization together. However, our social partner, unfortunately, does not share our holiday.

Sergey found out about the decision of management late last week from Michael Kravchenko, the Deputy Director on Ideology. Understanding the absurd nature of the reason of refusal, the trade union leader decided to meet the Director anyway. Alexander Radevich repeated the same.

- Certainly, it is very unpleasant, unpleasant from the human point of view, - noted Sergey Antusevich. - It is very difficult to refer all this social partnership. We found it necessary to postpone the time of commencement of assembly for a later term, because with such approach of the employer it is very likely that people will not be allowed going. Besides, Sten Petersen, Chief Expert on activity of workers of the International Labor Organization Office in Moscow plans to be among visitors of our action. There is no need to send any complaints. He will see everything with his own eyes.

Probably, authorities aspiring to spoil a holiday to trade union decided to keep fidelity to principles. Anyway, we have no doubts of the selective approach. So, for example, the solemn assembly on the occasion of a more modest 5-years anniversary of the Grodno Belarusian National Youth Association took place in the Regional Drama Theatre Building. At the same time, the people, who have worked dozens of years at the “Grodno Azot” Open Joint Stock Company, have not been allowed to gather for an hour and a half in the enterprise hall. By the way, in case of the Belarusian National Youth Association local authorities have closed their eyes on the fact “25 years and more is considered organization’s anniversary.”




21.11.2007





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