International union campaign in support of BITU activist

SOLIDARITY

An international trade union campaign is launched to reinstate Mikalaj Valadzko – the dismissed activist of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union.

The Belarusian Independent Trade Union calls on workers and trade unions around the world to appeal to the management of the German company Redpath Deilmann GmbH and its Canadian parent company Redpath Mining with a request to reinstate the union activist Mikalaj Valadzko.

 

The management of Redpath Deilmann, a mining company constructing mines for the Nezhinski mining and processing plant in Belarus, dismissed the leader of the trade union group after workers tried to get certification of workplaces at the enterprise.

According to legislation of Belarus, work under the ground should be compensated by: an early retirement, a shorter working day, an additional leave and surcharges for harmful working conditions. The company had to conduct certification of work places within six months, which was done. However, after it was held, the employer canceled the order on the results of the certification, citing the imperfection of local legislation and the response from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus, in which they were allowed not to carry out certification.

The workers were not satisfied with this state of affairs and, having collected signatures, they turned to the Ministry of Labour, from where they received a clear answer from Deputy Minister Ihar Staravoytau, who believes that the company is required to comply with the labour legislation of Belarus.

Instead of sitting at the negotiation table and solving the problem, the company’s administration began to crack down on the instigators of discontent. Some of the indignant workers were dismissed at the end of the contract. One of the former employees of Redpath Deilmann Aliaksandr Palaznik decided to achieve justice through the court and recover compensation from the company. To protect their interests, workers formed a trade union group of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union; and Mikalaj Valadzko was elected its leader.

A month later, the company’s administration does not renew the labour contract with the leader of the trade union group.

The Independent Trade Union is confident that the reason for the non-renewal of the contract was the trade union activity of the employee, who did not hide his belonging to the union. Mikalaj is a conscientious worker, a specialist of highest 7th category.

The Belarusian Independent Trade Union notified the trade union associations – trade union association Belarusian Congress of Democratic trade unions (BKDP), IndustriALL Global Union, International Trade Union Confederation, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), International Transport Federation and the Moscow office of the International Labour Organization. Valter Sanches, Secretary General of IndustriALL Global Union representing 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors, including Germany, Canada and Belarus, wrote to Holger Hertel, representing the foreign company Redpath Deilmann GmbH in Belarus. He called for an immediate review of his decision and the renewal of the contract with Mikalaj Valadzko; and certification of jobs in accordance with Belarusian law. However, the letter had no effect on the employer. The word remains with the employees of the company, the labour movement of Belarus and international trade union solidarity!

Today, the union campaign in support of the dismissed union activist Mikalaj Valadzko is starting at the international union platform LabourStart.

Support the campaign! We demand that Redpath Deilmann GmbH and Redpath Mining comply with the labour laws of Belarus! We demand the reinstatement of the trade union activist! You can support Mikalaj and the Belarusian workers by sending a letter to the company’s management.