16 December 2017, Saturday, 2:21

Viktar Kazlou: Today Only Independent Trade Unions Fight for Rights of Workers

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Viktar Kazlou

Official organizations ignore problems of working people.

Viktar Kazlou, the leader of the independent REP Trade Union in the Homel region, told Charter97.org when commenting on the information about unpaid leaves at the Rahachou Diaproektor.

- Is this practice legal?

- I know about the situation at this enterprise. I had a call from Rahachou workers and they told me that some worked three-day week, some - four-day week. The practice of unpaid leaves is illegal because of a corresponding norm.

According to it, an unpaid leave is allowed on not more than 30 days once in 12 months. Other options are illegal. If the enterprise suffers an "idle" time by the fault of an employer, then it must be paid in the amount of 2/3 of the salary rate.

You know, during the Soviet era, more than 2 000 people worked at the Diaproektor, and now it's only 200 people. There are only two back-bone enterprises in Rahachou: canning plant and Diaproektor.

And, unfortunately, only these plants provide its residents with a job. By the way, today the Homel court has announced a decision in favor of workers of the Kashtan factory who fought for their rights. They will be paid a three-month severance pay.

In Homel these girls will still be able to find some work, and will it be possible in Rahachou? No way! Therefore, unfortunately, people still hold on to work. But due to such "idle time" our employees are in a very severe social and economic situation.

- In your opinion, how should workers of enterprises act to protect themselves?

- There are organizations that are based on working principles - such Trade Unions as our REP. In theory, you need to go to the Trade Union's committee and demand payment of 2/3. But the reality of Belarusian enterprises is that Trade Union committees are headed by representatives, for example, of the personnel department. People are dependent people, so you need to go to court.

Organizations that are aimed at protecting workers do not do it. Today only independent Trade Unions fight for the rights of workers.