21 January 2018, Sunday, 19:50

Independent trade unions demand to cancel “serfdom decree”


Decree No. 9 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka on December 7 makes forced labour real in the country in the centre of Europe, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions says.

“With a link to notorious decree No. 29 'On some measures to strengthen labour and performance discipline' that caused wide-scale usage of fixed-term employment contracts, decree No. 9 promises even more devious forms of discrimination of employees,” says Alyaksandr Yarashuk, the leader of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions.  

“These actions by the authorities infringe on human rights in labour sphere proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) No. 105 on abolition of forced labour, No. 122 on employment policy, No. 95 on protection of wages, the Constitution and the labour legislation of Belarus,” the statement says.

The congress leader thinks  “this flagrant violation of the rights of employees in Belarus“ will be punished. Yarashuk reminds that the attempt by the military junta in Myanmar (Burma) to use forced labour ended with imposing economic sanctions by developed countries on the call of the ILO. Myanmar had to restore the rights of employees and start political liberalisation,” BelaPAN news agency reports.

“The Belarusian authorities should immediately cancel the controversial decree No. 9 and decree No. 29 and take necessary measures to secure legality, fulfil ILO's recommendations on rectifying numerous violations of the rights of employees and trade unions in the country,” Yarashuk concluded.