Eighty nine trade union centres demand to cancel the “slave decree” in Belarus.
Trade unions across the world continue a campaign of solidarity with Belarusians. Mikhail Shmakov, the chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia and president of the Pan-European Regional Council of the International Trade Union Confederation, joined the campaign, Nasha Niva newspaper writes.
“The essence of the decree is to make people work under force and constraint. The mankind passed the stage of slavery and serfdom long ago. History showed that this kind of labour is ineffective,” Shmakov writes in a letter to Alyaksandr Lukashenka. “I had to say with regret that conditions of the decree resemble the actions by the authorities of Myanmar, who were severely criticised by the International Labour Organisation and the world community that caused imposing sanctions, which led to economic slowdown and international isolation of the country.”
On behalf of 89 trade union centres from 55 countries of Europe and Asia, Shmakov calls on the authorities of Belarus to cancel Decree No. 9 that gives management of enterprises the right to prohibit workers from retiring on the ground of “modernisation of enterprises”.
Decree No.9 restricts the labour rights of workers of wood processing enterprises. All workers must sign employment agreements that cannot be terminated by an initiative of a worker without the consent of the employer during the period of implementation of investment projects (the years 2013-2014, according to minister of labour and social protection Marianna Shchotkina). Refusal of the employer to terminate the agreement can be appealed against to the chairman of the regional or Minsk city executive committee.
If employees of wood processing enterprises violate their work duties or dismiss, they must pay back the bonuses they received in additions to salaries. “If the employer fails to pay the bonuses, the sum will be collected from their wages at a new job. The unemployed persons must return to their previous job with bonuses being collected from their wages,” the decree reads.