Meeting with FTUB Chairman Mikhail Orda

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The Belarusian government will support trade unions at all levels, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Chairman of the Federations of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) Mikhail Orda on 10 November.

“I want to tell you that you should not make any excuses. Because we see, and especially I see, that official trade unions are under much pressure right now. Therefore, no one should make any excuses. Or try to defend themselves. Trade unions have been working and will be working. The government will support trade unions at all levels,” the Belarusian leader said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, he also was a trade union leader some time ago. Therefore, he is familiar with the specifics and knows that trade unions are always between a rock and a hard place. “On the one hand, there are workers whose interests and rights are protected by trade unions. On the other hand, there are interests of directors of enterprises,” he said. “Back then I realized what trade unions and the trade union movement were. It was never easy for them. Never!” the President said.

The head of state also mentioned pressure which is now put on the state. “And trade unions with their firm and distinct position are under pressure. Therefore, we must take it easy. Some people will leave trade unions. This will be a small number in terms of the existing membership. If they want to leave, they are free to do so,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “It’s up to people to decide. If some people want to leave the country, they are free to do so. We should not make them stay. For example, information has come from Latvia today. Some people went to Latvia, they were called. Where are they living in that country right now? In some reservation with $2.5 per day. Where are the promised millions or even thousands of dollars?”

“So, people are free to try. When they try all that, they will make corresponding conclusions. I am saying all that to emphasize that we should not make any excuses. You are acting in accordance with your charter and our laws,” the head of state added.