Statement of the REP Trade Union: We call on the international trade union community to show the workers’ solidarity and help to stop the lawlessness in Belarus

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Statement of the Presidium

of the Belarusian Trade Union of Radio-Electronic Industry Workers (REP Trade Union)

The only force that can break the tyrannical rule

Is the one big union of all workers.

Amid the deepening political and socioeconomic crisis in the country and mass peaceful protests, including strikes, Belarusian authorities are increasing pressure on independent trade unions and trade union activists.

The REP Trade Union has always been at the forefront of those who defend workers’ rights, advocate a fair social policy and seek from the state to respect the rule of law. That is why in 2018 the trade union leaders, Gennady Fedynich and Igor Komlik, were convicted. Therefore, today activists of the REP Trade Union are falling victim to the repressive machinery and judicial lawlessness.

After the 2020 presidential election, more than 70 activists of the REP Trade Union were arrested or fined, almost 40 people been fired from their jobs for their membership in the REP Trade Union.

At present, the ruling regime has launched criminal proceedings against trade unionists. Only in January 2021, Darya Polyakova, the coordinator of the REP youth network from Brest, was convicted on a fabricated criminal case; were sentenced trade union members Uladzimir Tsurpanau and Alexander Gubeiko.

Leonid Sudalenko, the legal inspector of the REP Trade Union for the Gomel Region and a well-known Belarusian defender of workers, was detained on criminal charges of “organizing riots”. Marina Tarasenko, an activist of our trade union from Gomel, was also detained. Searches were conducted of the Gomel office of our trade union and activists’ homes; office equipment and trade union documents were seized. The persecution of activists of other independent trade unions of Belarus and industrial strike committees continues.

We treat these authorities’ actions as a systemic campaign aimed at destroying the independent trade union movement in Belarus and specifically the REP Trade Union. The destruction or “pacification” of Belarusian independent trade unions will lead to the situation that the country’s working people will remain practically defenceless in front of the state machine and will be left alone with their problems. The authorities are trying to ensure that disorganized, disunited workers become an obedient and silent “majority” that is ready to work for food.

We cannot allow this to happen. We call on the international trade union community to show the workers’ solidarity and help to stop the lawlessness in Belarus. In the conditions of massive repressions and total legal default of the country, independent trade unions and workers of Belarus are in dire need of the support of the world trade union movement.

Brothers and sisters! If you are with us, join our struggle. It is in your power to appeal to your governments, demand a response from international structures and seek efficient and constant pressure on the Belarusian regime in order to restore law and democracy in the country.

Working people of Belarus need your solidarity actions!

Presidium of the REP Trade Union