ILO experts visit Minsk to discuss observance of trade union rights

On January 19, a group of ILO experts led by Kari Tapiola, Executive Director of the ILO for Standards and Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the secretary-general of the International Trade Union Confederation, Guy Ryder, arrived in Minsk.

News | 19 January 2009
They took part a seminar aimed at improving the observance of Belarus’ independent trade union rights and the implementation by the Belarussian government of ILO’s recommendations. Among participants of the seminar that took place on January 21 were governmental officials, including representatives of courts and prosecutor’s offices, employers and trade unions – the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, the Belarussian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions and the union of radioelectric workers.

In 2003 the ILO Governing Body began an inquiry into the violation of trade union rights in Belarus in connection with independent trade unions’ claim. As a result Belarus has been five times included into a special paragraph of the International Labour Conference report as a country violating trade union rights.

Ahead of the seminar international experts held consultations with governmental officials and trade unionists.

”We attach great importance to the seminar and the fact that it had taken place is a big step towards resolving trade union problems in the country,” said Alexander Yaroshuk, the chairman of the Belarussian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions. The trade unionist welcomed as positive the government’s position to maintain a dialogue with the ILO.

The seminar that brought together ILO experts and employers is aimed at speeding up the search for consensus, said Kari Tapiola. “Decisions, of course, should be taken in due time by Belarus’ government, trade unions and employers,” he said.

Mr. Tapiola is accompanied by Karen Curtis, deputy director of the ILO Standards Department, and Oksana Wolfson of the same department.

Source: BelaPAN