Breaking news

Precedent set as Belarusian authorities register local union

IndustriALL affiliate the Belarusian Independent trade union of Miners, Chemists, Oil-refiners, Energy, Transport, Construction and other workers (BITU) received a notification of registration of its local organization on 15 January 2019 after the third application.

The local is not a new organization. Following restructuring at JSC Belaruskali, a potash fertilizer producer, some units of the company became separate subsidiaries. One unit became a new company named Remmontazhstroy.

Remmontazhstroy workers – many of them members of BITU for years – wanted to maintain their union membership and bargain collectively, but according to Belarusian legislation had to register as a new local organization of the union.

Some 400 people held a founding assembly and duly announced the creation of their local. However, in June 2018, the Soligorsk municipality denied the registration without explanation. BITU appealed the decision in court.

Remmontazhstroy workers appealed to the government, and asked the international trade union community for support. IndustriALL Global Union, ITUC and IUF sent letters to the President of Belarus.

The BITU president Nikolay Zimin states,

“Registration of a trade union organization should be an ordinary procedure that would not take so much time, energy and effort. If people decide to join a trade union, they should not be discouraged or pressured. And public authorities should ensure that the expression of human will is fully respected.”

Unfortunately, other independent trade unions in Belarus still struggle to register locals for arbitrary reasons.

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, said:

“IndustriALL believes that such a long and exhausting registration process is unacceptable. The entire process of registration must be based on notification and not a permission from the state authorities.”

“All those who submitted their applications for registration of their unions or structural subdivisions must be granted such registration immediately.”


Disclaimer: All third-party opinions expressed via IASWI accounts linked to and from this page are those of the individuals concerned and do not necessarily represent those of IASWI or its affiliates. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied. To discuss this disclaimer or the removal of appropriate credit for materials of which you hold copyright please contact us. All the third party videos and contents found on is not hosted on our servers; all third party videos or contents are hosted on a third party site. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and news sources on the do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the IASWI or official policies of the IASWI. These posts are only generated for the purpose of information sharing on the labour related issues.