7 December 2019, Saturday, 21:51
The Wait Is Nearly Over

Maksim Pazniakou: We Must Go To People, To Masses

Maksim Pazniakou: We Must Go To People, To Masses
Maksim Pazniakou

The new leader of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union spoke about his first steps as the chairman.

On April 20, the XI Congress of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union was held in Minsk, where 35-year-old Maksim Pazniakou was elected the union's chairman. Up to this point, he was deputy chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union's primary organization at Naftan OJSC.

The change of leadership took place at the times of authorities' unprecedented pressure on the Belarusian independent trade union. Since the beginning of the year, a thousand people has left the Independent Trade Union of Miners due to the pressure from JSC Belaruskali. In this regard, hundreds of people from all over the world are demanding that the Belarusian authorities should stop their union-based persecution.

The new leader of the oldest independent trade union of Belarus told Salidarnasts about his impression from the first days of leadership, about the challenges that the organization faces and his first steps at this post.

– First, I feel pride and gratitude to the delegates of the congress for their trust in me as the head of the organization for the next four years. I also feel a great responsibility for the trade union, for the first steps to be made for the development of our organization in this difficult time.

Maksim Pazniakou consider's the mining enterprise's pressure on the Independent Trade Union to be the main challenge for himself:

– To fight off this wave is the primary task today for our organization. After all, the Independent Trade Union of Miners is one of our most numerous organizations.

According to the union leader, the demonstration of solidarity with the union, both domestically and internationally, was a surprise to the authorities:

– According to information that we get, the pressure has decreased. There is no such big wave of exit from the miners' union, which we have observed. But we still need to check and analyze everything. From day to day, the Council of representatives of the Independent Trade Union of Miners will meet, where the results will be summed up and it will become clear whether this pressure has stopped or not.

As for the international flashmob in support of the Independent Trade Union of Miners, I think it made the leadership of Belaruskali and the Salihorsk authorities think deeply. I am convinced that they did not expect that this support will grow like a snowball.

Speaking about the nearest plans, Maksim Pazniakou stressed that working in a trade union requires daily efforts:

– We must go to the people. We should explain to the workers what a trade union association is, what its strength is. It is necessary to continue the work on concluding collective agreements, for example, with Naftan. Work with Belneftekhim on the conclusion of a tariff agreement, which will cover the entire concern, will continue as well. But most important thing, I repeat, is to go to the people, create new cells, support the work of the existing ones.