Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Employee unable to leave woodworking company in Babruysk because of Lukashenkas controversial decree

BelaPAN

The management of Babruysk-based AAT Fandok refuses to accept the resignation of its worker.

It cites Alyaksandr Lukashenka`s December 2012 decree that prohibits employees of the woodworking companies from quitting their jobs without the employer`s permission until the completion of their modernization, BelaPAN said.

In her letter of resignation, Natallya Ivanova wrote that she would like to leave the company because she had leg problems.

Although the womans employment contract expires on November 26, 2013, Fandok Director General Uladzimir Radzyukevich has ordered the contract to be prolonged until 2015 unless the woman provides written confirmation that she cannot work at the plywood plant for health reasons, reported the private newspaper Bobruyski Kuryer. If she submits a sickness certificate, she will not be required to pay more than three million rubels ($324) to Fandok under the decree.

Ms. Ivanova has sent a complaint to Pyotr Rudnik, head of the Mahilyow Regional Executive Committee, with the help of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. Mr. Rudnik has not yet provided a reply.

After inspecting two woodworking companies, Ivatsevichydrew and Barysawdrew, in November 2012, Mr. Lukashenka announced that the modernization program for the woodworking industry had been a failure and dismissed Uladzimir Shulha as head of the Belarusian State Timber, Woodworking, Pulp and Paper Industries Concern, appointing him to act as director general of Ivatsevichydrew. On December 7, Mr. Lukashenka issued the controversial decree, which requires all employees of Belarus nine woodworking companies to sign fixed-term labor contracts. After their expiration, the contracts shall be prolonged by the maximum possible period. New contracts shall be signed after that period expires.

The restriction is expected to be lifted once the modernization of the company is over.

The decree provides for monthly bonuses for the staff of the woodworking companies. The employees that will be fired for performing their duties improperly will have to repay all of their monthly bonuses to the enterprise.

Mr. Lukashenka subsequently directed that woodworking companies should start paying their employees between $450 and $500 in 2013 in exchange for compulsory labor.

Independent trade unions and opposition organizations have condemned the decree as inconsistent with the Belarusian constitution and the International Labor Organization`s conventions.