Member of Belarusian Independent Trade Union on Hunger Strike for 14 Days 17:25, 17/10/2006
Today is the 14th day that Alena Zakhozhaya, electrician at Belshyna company, refuses to eat. Alena Zakhozhaya lives in Babruisk and is a member of Belarusian Independent Trade Union. On October 16 members of the Trade Union organization at Belshyna company informed Babruisk city authorities and Belnaftahim concern, KGB and Belshyna administration that they join the hunger-strike.
Alexander Yarashuk, chairperson of the Belarusian Congress of the Democratic Trade Unions told RFE/RL that 5 more Belshyna workers would join Alena Zakhozhaya’s protest in the evening of October 19. “We plan to meet with them soon. Really, it’s a stalemate situation. Belshyna and Belnaftahim administrations do not show any signs of change in their position. We are very concerned, because everything is possible. Alena Zakhozhaya is on hunger-strike for a long term. Naturally, we will do everything possible to prevent dramatic consequences”, -- he said.
According to Alexander Yarashuk, international labor unions and national trade union organizations from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and other countries have sent their letters of support to Alena Zakhozhaya. Since May 2006 Belshyna administration refuses to pay out bonuses and other extra payments to members of the Independent Trade Union. Besides that, the company administration ignores the requests of the Independent Trade Union to let them have a legal address. Without that the Trade Union branch can not get registered with the local authorities.