Belarusian Independent trade union — (The Belarusian Independent trade union of miners, chemical workers, oil-refiners, energy, transport, construction and other workers — BITU) – was founded on October, 6th 1991 as the Independent trade union of Miners of Belarus. On June, 3rd 1993 was renamed into the Belarusian Independent trade union due to registration of other primary organizations of industries not connected to mining. For today BITU is the biggest independent union of the workers movement in Belarus. Despite all the difficulties, the organization today unites more than 5,000 employees in various industries. The most active despite constant pressure are union organizations at JSC Belaruskali, JSC Grodno Azot and JSC Naftan. Trade union remains the most financially independent NGO in the country functioning on union fees. BITU was primarily built as a country-wide union based on state-run budget funding enterprises of mining and petrochemical industry of Belarus. However, at the moment BITU unites workers of various industries and production. Thus it can be called a multi-industry union. BITU is a co-founder and an affiliate of the Association of trade unions Belarusian Congress of Democratic trade unions (BKDP). The Independent union is affiliated to three GUFs: the IndustriALL Global union, the ITF and the IUF.
Reveal, express, realize and protect the rights and professional interests of employees.
Represent and defend the interests of BITU members in government bodies and courts;
Develop and conclude tariff agreements at different levels to improve the working and living conditions of workers, employment, wages, working hours, protection of health, and subsequently demand their implementation.
Ensuring safe and healthy working conditions;
Assistance in creation of pension and health insurance funds and the introduction of additional social insurance mechanisms;
Protection of workers' rights on employment, working hours, recreation and social guarantees;
Regulation of labour contract issues;
Legal protection of BITU members;
Creation and support of: women, youth and retirees’ organizations.
BITU does not adhere to specific political preferences and is not a lobbyist for political parties. The main ideas that have become traditional for the Independent Trade Union for 30 years are democratic values (Equality, Freedom, Human Rights, Consensus, Pluralism and Legality). Humanism, in which a human is the highest value, their dignity, good and free harmonious development. The independent trade union was formed in the late 1980s. of the XX century as an alternative to the pro-government and ineffective structure of state trade unions - the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. The main task of the unification of the Salihorsk miners was the fight against the anti-human and totalitarian Soviet system at the work place. Throughout the 90s of the XX century the independent trade union cooperated with the Public Association BPF “Adradzhenne”, the Belarusian Social-Democratic Hramada, the United Civil Party to build an independent, just and constitutional state.
Like the entire Global trade union community, we oppose racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and intolerance. Today BITU is open for cooperation with any political parties and movements that profess the values of democracy and humanism, and socially oriented and just society. We reject authoritarian and totalitarian forms of government; we are committed to respect the rights and freedoms of the citizens.