On April 7, 2022, the KGB of the Republic of Belarus recognized the trade union of radio-electronic industry workers as an extremist organization. The REP trade union was founded in 1990, its founders were 93 primary trade union cells. Now it unites more than 2000 employees. In addition, the trade union is a member of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, as well as the international trade union IndustriALL, which unites more than 50 million workers around the world.
Probably, the pressure that the organization has been subjected to is connected with numerous appeals to the International Labor Organization on the violation of workers’ rights in Belarus and the refusal to follow the official course of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB), demanding a reduction in the retirement age, the abolition of the contract system of hiring, providing workers with housing, medicine and education. It is worth noting that cases of forceful influence on trade unions have been recorded in the country before. So, on November 2, 2020, the independent trade union at the BMZ in Zhlobin actually ceased operations after the arrest of four of its eleven founders, when the trade union decided to support a workers’ strike demanding the resignation of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
We are against stupid political demands, but this is how the KGB of Belarus puts pressure on all independent trade union activities. People are afraid to join trade unions and organize new ones, and public opinion about trade unions is becoming negative. This is quite consistent with the attack on the rights of employees, carried out by the government in the interests of owners. And, thus, deprives employees of the right to actually defend their civic position.