Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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Belarusian Congress Of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP)
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>БКДП-ЧЛЕН МЕЖДУНАРОДНОЙ КОНФЕДЕРАЦИИ ПРОФСОЮЗОВ (МКП)

BKDP-Member of International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC)
   


TRIPARTITE SEMINAR WORKED OUT ACTION PLAN ON IMPLEMENTING ILO RECOMMENDATIONS



The previous week proved to be the busiest one for the BKDP. On January 20-22, 2009 the national tripartite seminar on evaluating the implementation of the ILO recommendations was held in Minsk. At least 150 people representing three sides of social partnership (government, employers and trade unions) took part in it. From trade union side there were 55 persons and 20 of them represented independent trade union movement of .


The most important feature of the event was the participation of high ranking officials from the international organizations in it. Together with the ILO expert group headed by the ILO Executive Director Kari Tapiola the seminar were attended by Guy Ryder - General Secretary of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - and Emmanuel Julien – member of Governing Body of the International Organization of Employers (IOE). The participation of the head of the largest and most respected international trade union organization in the seminar was preconditioned by the fact that the BKDP was the co-founder of this organization and is its affiliated member.

The seminar was run in a manner of an open discussion which, sometimes, was pretty hot. It could not be otherwise since the problems raised were quite complicated. The variability of opinions on how ILO recommendations were implemented was wide and sometimes was diametrically opposite: from full denial of violations of trade union rights in by some of the employers up to very tough assessments by other participants.

The intervention of the BKDP President Alexander Yaroshuk caused emotional reaction among participants. He noted the positive role of the Government in the development of the dialogue between Belarus Government and the ILO and underlined a particular role in it of the Minister of Labor and Social Protection Vladimir Potupchik. At the same time he sharply criticized those employers who continued imposing pressure on members belonging to independent unions. The BKDP leader described their behavior as “an open provocation which is committed not only against independent trade union movement but against the Government too”. Today the latter one, as it became apparent, is the most interested side in normalizing situation with trade union rights in the country.

The final seminar document – Action Plan of the Government of Republic of Belarus for implementation of the ILO recommendations – was prepared. That was not an easy work. Nevertheless, the consensus was found. During the seminar the most significant problem became apparent: it is the lack of a mechanism that could ensure proper observance over the implementation of the ILO recommendations. The monitoring and observance duties will be assigned to the Council for improvement of social and labor legislation that was set up earlier under the auspice of Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. So that this body could have real influence on the situation and could enjoy trust of all sides its status will be raised and its term of reference will be widened considerably. The Council will be headed by the Minister of Labor and Social Protection. Shortly new regulation on the Council will be worked out and its new member composition will be approved. It will include on a parity basis the representatives of all sides of social partnership. All this will happen at the next sitting of the tripartite National Council of Labor and Social Issues in the first half of February. Today in case of refusal in registration of a union, antiunion discrimination, pressure on union members and of other harassments one can apply directly to the Council. The Council will have to carefully investigate the facts of trade union violations and take relevant measures to eliminate them. When the Council decisions do not satisfy the applicant the latter one can present the complaint to the ILO.

“We evaluate the adopted Action Plan as an optimal one. The most important merit of this document is that it has established a certain body which will monitor the implementation of the ILO recommendations and perform the observance over the respect of trade union rights in the country. We wish that its activities are successful and efficient” –said Alexander Yaroshuk.

ACTION PLAN

of Government of Republic of Belarus for implementation of recommendations arising from Commission of Inquiry report “Trade Union Rights in”.

The Action Plan for implementing Commission of Inquiry recommendations was prepared on the basis of proposals sounded at the seminar “Freedom of Association and social partnership in the Republic of Belarus: improvements in the light of recommendations arising from the Commission of Inquiry report “Trade Union Rights in Belarus” that was held in Minsk 21 January 2009. The Plan was a subject of discussion by all social partners as well as by representatives of the ILO, ITUC and IOE at the meeting in the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection on January 22, 2009.

The Government jointly with social partners will take steps to work out a common approach towards issues raised in the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry and to adopt relevant decisions on them.

The Government of Republic of Belarus will take certain organizational measures to promote efficiency and transparency of work of the Council for improvement of social and labor legislation. The Minister of Labor and Social Protection will chair the Council. It was agreed that the number of representatives from workers’ and employers’ organizations will be increased and the Council will report on the regular basis to the tripartite National Council for Labor and Social Issues.

Ministry of Labor and Social protection together with Ministry of Justice will take an active part in the work of the tripartite sub-group. Since the purpose is to deal with issues linked to implementation of Commission of Inquiry recommendations all social partners who have direct relation to them are to have possibility to express their own opinion.

The Council for improvement of social and labor legislation will deal with laws and their practical application as well as work on improving conditions for setting up trade unions and register them.

The Government will eliminate problems related to practical application of legislation in force and will ensure the transparency of provisions of Presidential Decree # 2, dated 26.01.1999 concerning the demand of 10% of totally employed to set up and register a union at an enterprise as well as have legal address. The Ministry of Justice will prepare respective explanation note that will contribute to facilitating and making the procedure of registration easier.

The Council for improvement of social and labor legislation will consider without any delay all cases of refusal in registration of trade union organizations, investigate reasons of refusals and work out proposals to do away with them so that workers could in fullest extent exercise their rights in conformity with the ILO Convention 87.

The Council will study in details the legislation regulating the procedures of receiving and using gratuitous foreign aid in theRepublicofBelarusas well as legislation on mass actions so as to find rational solutions that will go in line with international principles and standards.

All parties concerned are requested to submit their proposals to the Council for improving social and labor legislation in order to find acceptable solutions that could ensure effective protection of workers against antiunion discrimination.

The Government of Republic of Belarus will take measures to set up monitoring procedure to follow the application of contract labor in practice in . The monitoring results including bad practices will be discussed in the Council for improvement of social and labor legislation on a regular basis as well as measures will be discussed to eliminate any negative impact that could be imposed on workers and trade unions.

To ensure guaranties for the union members who allege that they were discriminated the Council for improving social and labor legislation will consider without delay their personal statements or the statements submitted by trade unions on their behalf and will take appropriate conclusions and, if necessary, will take concrete measures.

The Government of Belarus will go on bringing notices to courts and prosecution offices on the policies that require careful examination of all complaints related to violation of trade union rights. The Ministry of Justice with participation of Supreme Court of theRepublicofBelarus, General Prosecution Office of as well as of trade unions and employers’ organizations will run series of seminars on protection of labor rights of workers and rights of trade unions.

The package of measures envisaged by the Action Plan will be realized during the year of 2009. Since it is supposed that measures of the Government of Belarus aimed at implementing the Commission of Inquiry recommendations will be discussed by tripartite ILO Standards Committee at the 98th Session of the International Labor Conference certain steps will be taken to start realizing Action Plan measures before the beginning of the ILO Conference. In course of implementation of the Action Plan the Government will work in close contact with social partners and International Labor Organization.

The Government of Republic of Belarus will request the International Labor Office to assist in providing international experience concerning issues mentioned above.




27.01.2009





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