Meeting with FTUB Chairman Mikhail Orda

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has supported the initiative of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) regarding the people’s control over prices at the meeting with FTUB Chairman Mikhail Orda on 19 May.

“I would like to reiterate that I will keep paying great attention to the development of the trade union movement. This is the pillar of our country and mine as a president. I keep an eye on what is going on in this field,” the Belarusian leader noted.

During the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested reviewing the state of affairs in Belarus’ trade union movement, including the efforts to optimize the structure of trade unions. “Structural reconstruction that we have once agreed on is of great importance for me. It is essential to know how primary trade union organizations are set up in private companies, whether the process is smooth. We have discussed sectoral trade unions at the highest level. There have been too many of them at that time. We then have set the task to unify similar sectoral trade unions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The state will support the development of the party system, but will not take artificial steps in this direction, Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “If existing parties can reproduce, enhance, strengthen, raise the number of members, we will support this process. This pertains to both opposition and non-opposition parties,” the President remarked.

At the same time, the head of state noted that there are two strong organizations in the country, namely trade unions uniting more than 4 million people and the public association Belaya Rus. “It does not mean that I will pay priority attention to their support. But I dot conceal my attitude to these two strongest organizations. They have been playing and will play a more significant role in the life of our society,” the Belarusian leader said.

The President also supported the initiative of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus regarding the people’s control over retail prices. “Thank you for putting forward initiatives to enhance control over the fulfillment of three tasks concerning pricing, employment, remuneration,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “I’ve heard that you want to organize people’s control over retail prices. Everything can be good ad all right in statistical reports, but the situation concerning basic products and major foodstuffs in shops may be different. Trade unions know this situation very well. Therefore, I support this initiative regarding the control over prices in trade organizations.”

The head of state emphasized that trade unions traditionally take part in the resolution of employment issues. “I will also ask you not to stand aside from this issue and the issue of salaries. Keep these things in sight,” the President stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarusian trade unions should play a more active role in the development of elite sport. “Sport is in the spotlight of trade unions. According to your estimates, every year you train about 500 aspiring athletes. Where are they? We do not seem them,” the President remarked. “Therefore, we must do something here to promote this industry. You should take care of these athletes, support them and supervise their progress because we cannot lose them. You say that you have trained 500 people, but we do not see results in elite sport.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested developing a corresponding system to help aspiring athletes realize their potential. He remarked that trade unions should provide strong assistance to the specialized ministry and the state in general in this field.

The President also reminded that serious reforms are now carried out in the sports industry in Belarus. Sports specialists will become the heads of sports federations, and high-ranking government officials will lead observation councils. The Belarusian Biathlon Federation is one of the examples. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that some time ago it was difficult to operate sports federations, and the President had to deal with many issues in this field.

Pensionable service issues were also discussed at the meeting of Aleksandr Lukashenko with Mikhail Orda. This pertains to people taking care of disabled persons, families with many children. A corresponding draft decree will be submitted to the head of state.

Besides, the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus suggests announcing 2018 the Year of Working People in Belarus. It should help raise the prestige of blue-collar jobs.