Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

UN Human Rights Committee to consider Belarusian trade union activists complaint

naviny.by

The UN Human Rights Committee has registered a complaint by Andrey Stryzhak, an activist of the Independent Union of Electronic Industry Workers, about the rejection of his application for permission to stage a demonstration in Rechytsa, Homyel region, a year ago.

Mr. Stryzhak wanted to demonstrate in support of employees of crushed stone mining company RUVP Hranit who were seeking to establish a grassroots organization of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union.

"Even if the UN Human Rights Committee upholds my complaint, I have little doubt that the Belarusian government will ignore its recommendations," Mr. Stryzhak told BelaPAN. "Nevertheless, a favorable decision will be a moral victory for me. In addition, the Committees decisions remain effective indefinitely."

Unhappy with their low wages and the performance of the pro-government Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB), more than 200 Hranit employees reportedly quit the local FTUB chapter in late December 2011 to establish a grassroots organization of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union. However, the management of the state-owned company has refused to provide the independent union organization with an office, which is necessary for its registration.

At least eight members of the organization have been dismissed since its establishment.

With a staff of 3,000 people, Hranit is the largest employer in Mikashevichy, a city of 14,000 residents in the Brest region.