Statement of the KTR Executive Committee on the situation in Belarus

The Confederation of Labor of Russia
of the Executive Committee
of the Confederation of Labor of Russia
on the situation in the Republic of Belarus

Moscow, 24 August 2020

Members of trade unions belonging to the Confederation of Labor of Russia, leaders and activists of the KTR are watching the events in the Republic of Belarus with alarm and concern.

On 9 August presidential elections were held in the country. The announced results of the vote aroused mistrust among the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, massive protests brought thousands of people out into the streets. Violent measures were taken against the protesters by law-enforcement agencies. These actions were accompanied by completely unjustified use of special means, numerous detentions, beatings, and torture.

In response to the apparently illegal actions of security forces, employees in enterprises and institutions of the Republic of Belarus resorted to collective protest actions in various forms. A number of enterprises, that are important for the country's economy, have stopped their work. The process of creating strike committees to prepare for a general strike in support of democratic transformations in the Republic of Belarus has begun. The strikers immediately faced serious administrative and military pressure from the authorities and the administration of the enterprises. At the moment, there are arrests of members of the strike committees of enterprises, a wave of illegal dismissals, psychological and forceful influence on workers is gaining momentum.

The Confederation of Labor of Russia expresses solidarity with the demands of striking and protesting workers to organize a national civil dialogue, restore the institution of fair elections in the country, release political prisoners and also citizens detained during protests.

We support the demands of our fraternal organization, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, about the need for democratic reform of the country's labor sphere, the abolition of the system of fixed-term contracts, and the complete restoration of labor, civil and social rights of workers of the Republic of Belarus.

We are outraged by the announcement of a national lockout for the striking enterprises, announced by Alexander Lukashenko on 22 August 2020. Such actions lead to the degradation of labor relations in the Republic of Belarus to the level of the century before last.

We demand from the current Belarusian authorities at all levels, from the administrations of enterprises and their security services, to stop any pressure on the strikers and their families. We call for an end to illegal dismissals and the release of all those detained in connection with industrial collective actions.

The Russian Confederation of Labor supports the campaign of solidarity with workers in the Republic of Belarus, launched by the largest international trade union associations—the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IndustriALL Global Union, International Union of Food Workers (IUF), which include the KTR itself and our branch trade unions.

The KTR calls on global trade unions and national trade union centers, trade union members and activists in the Russian Federation to expand this campaign to achieve democracy, social justice and peace in Belarus.

The Confederation of Labor of Russia calls on workers from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet countries to oppose the intentions of the authorities of the Republic of Belarus to replace the striking workers with strikebreakers from our countries.

United We Stand!

Executive Committee of the Confederation of Labor of Russia

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