Swedish unions in meeting with Belarusian ambassador
TCO, LO and Saco are deeply concerned about the escalating violence and the lack of respect for democracy in Belarus. The three presidents Therese Svanström, Susanna Gideonsson and Göran Arrius met with the Belarusian Ambassador to Sweden in Stockholm yesterday, calling for immediate improvement of the situation for trade unionists in Belarus.
TCO, LO and Saco are deeply concerned about the escalating violence and the lack of respect for democracy in Belarus. The three presidents Therese Svanström, Susanna Gideonsson and Göran Arrius met with the Belarusian Ambassador to Sweden in Stockholm yesterday.
The purpose of the meeting was to demand improvements of the situation for trade unionists and for a democratic development in Belarus:
- New elections, where fair and democratic conditions with full transparency under international supervision are guaranteed
- Immediate end of all forms of violence against trade unionists and protestors
- Release of all trade unionists and protesters
- Immediate respect and application of the ILO conventions ratified by the state of Belarus to protect Trade Unions rights and the right to collective bargaining
- Urgent ratification and implementation of essential ILO's conventions that guarantee workers and their representatives full democratic rights at work and a democratic development in Belarus
- Secure the respect for freedom of the press, open internet and free movement of citizens within Belarus and abroad
LO, TCO and Saco have continuous contacts with trade unionists in Belarus, who have taken high personal risks by taking part in the demonstrations. The unionisation level in Belarus is quite high at approximately 50%, and the trade union has thus become a force count on in the country. This explains the repression of the trade union movement and the wish to hinder the development of a democratic and independent trade union movement.
”We have been very explicit about our demand for an end to the violence of the Lukashenko regime. The independent trade unions play a fundamental role in the development towards a free Belarus”, says Therese Svanström, President of TCO.
Belarus is repeatedly reviewed by the ILO due to their lack of respect for human rights at work. On paper, the country has ratified many of the ILO core conventions, but they are not implemented as yet.
Oscar Wåglund Söderström
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