The Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) played a big role in the parliamentary election campaign, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with FTUB Chairman Mikhail Orda on 20 January.
“A lot of things depended on the organization of the parliamentary election campaign, and trade unions made a big contribution to the organization of this event,” the President said. “We agreed that trade unions would take an active part in the campaign and would help organize it at the local level. And it was done.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko praised the role of the FTUB in the social and political life of the country and described it as one of the most popular organizations. “It unites hardworking people, not politicians,” he said.
The meeting also focused on the preparations for the 8thcongress of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus which is scheduled for the end of February.
Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the head of the Belarus President Administration and the government to join the preparations for the FTUB congress. “Please help them organize the selection of delegates at the local level in a democratic and decent way. There should not be any complaints, many people want to take part. Even after the today’s conversation they might start to blame trade unions for turning into a political party and playing a nearly crucial role in the political process. Do not bother, you are an experienced person, and I know it,” the head of state stressed.
In his words, trade unions should be proud of the role they are playing in the modern Belarusian society. “The time is not easy, and, of course, people are different. There will always be different remarks about it. But all people should realize that in the face of, God forbid, any difficulties we will need trade unions and youth unions (Komsomol in old terms). All organizations will be engaged if, God forbid, these difficult times come. We are strategically oriented and are building our lives. People must realize that. Therefore, the FTUB conference should be held in a nice and decent way,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President expressed interest in attending the forthcoming FTUB congress. “This is a large-scale domestic event. And the year is very important from the political perspective. There will be the presidential election, the All-Belarus People’s Congress where strategic goals will be determined. Trade unions should play their role here,” the head of state emphasized.
Mikhail Orda, in turn, thanked the President for supporting FTUB’s important initiatives, in particular, those concerning the stronger employment guarantees for diligent workers which were envisaged in the new wording of the Labor Code.