BWI and EFBWW support Belarus workers’ strike against election fraud

BWI, on behalf of its 12 million trade union members worldwide, and EFBWW, representing 2 million trade union members from 34 European countries, express their solidarity with the brave trade unionists and workers of Belarus who went on strike and organised different forms of democratic and peaceful actions to protest against the alleged massive electoral fraud in their country. 

We stand with the country’s workers who selflessly joined work stoppages nationwide and close ranks with Belarus’ growing movement to defend democratic rights, particularly the right to suffrage. Their courage, unity and strength inspire the global trade union movement. 

BWI and EFBWW also condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and repression unleashed by the state against the working people of Belarus. We denounce the police brutality inflicted upon workers who were peacefully exercising their democratic rights questioning the election results. We jointly demand that Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for the last 26 years, orders his security forces to stand down and fully recognizes the Belarus citizens’ democratic rights, more specifically the freedom of association, free speech and peaceful assembly.

As such, we call on the European Institutions and the International Community to come up with stronger measures, using all political and diplomatic means available to ensure that the Belarus citizens’ rights are secured and that their true choice is fully reflected in the electoral process. As a member of the international community, Belarus, under Mr. Lukashenko, cannot continue to act outside of human rights and democracy. 

Lastly, BWI and EFBWW encourage all trade unionists and workers worldwide to express their full support to the Belarus people. As trade unionists, we are taught that peaceful, orderly and genuine elections are one of the hallmarks of democracy. Whether it is in our unions or in society in general, free and fair elections are an essential feature of worker democracy. Thus, when the right to vote is sullied, undermined and circumvented in favour of vested interests, it is incumbent upon all workers to rise up and defend that right.