Meeting with FTUB Chairman Mikhail Orda

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The requirements to promote employment, raise wages and control prices are not populism, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) Mikhail Orda on 2 May.

“Probably, you, Mikhail Sergeyevich [Orda] and our trade unions not only support my basic requirements, but also view them as fundamental and crucial ones. These are employment, growth of wages, pricing. These are social criteria, social projects of, we can say so, the President. Do not think that this is kind of populism and has nothing to do with the economy,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

The President stressed: “I do not want wages to be paid for nothing. I want people to work hard to earn these wages. With this in mind, we need efficient production.”

Speaking about employment, the head of state remarked that his opinion is very simple. “If we do not want people to work, do not want to create jobs for them, to help them get employed, there will be more crimes. We will have to pay much more to cope with it and eradicate this malady from our society. A working person seldom becomes a criminal,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that there are no grounds for price growth in the country. Those who raise prices without a good reason are doing it for their personal gains. “This is how I see it,” the President added. “There are some bottlenecks in the field of pricing. If state bodies, the government do not see them, trade unions must help.”

The head of state believes that the Federation of Trade Unions is also in charge of monitoring the situation in employment, wage growth, and pricing. “If we get results here, there will be good trade unions in the country, and people will appreciate their work,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The Federation of Trade Unions has been monitoring retail prices in Belarus since 2017. This initiative was supported by the President. This year prices for foodstuffs (a consumer basket including 98 foodstuffs) have been monitored in all 118 districts of Belarus, ten cities of oblast subordination and nine districts of Minsk.

The President asked about the results of the monitoring and the reasons for the growth of prices. Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned passenger fares in commuter trains as an example. “People with modest incomes travel by commuter trains. So why is it happening? You should be very tough in this aspect. If you do not have enough power, inform me, but these issues should be under control,” the head of state stressed.