Morning Star | May 26, 2020
TRADE unionists in Belarus have launched a campaign demanding the reinstatement of a miner sacked for raising health and safety concerns at a Canadian-owned mine.
Mikalaj Valadzko was suspended from his job at a shaft-sinking project after he started a trade union to defend workers’ rights.
He worked at a mine owned by Canadian company Redpath Mining, with the work being carried out by its German subsidiary Redpath Deilmann.
Since May 2019 miners have been seeking a labour safety inspectorate certificate, which would give underground workers the right to additional benefits and guarantees.
Workers organised and formed a union supported by the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (Bitu).
But the company hit back by targeting workers and refused to renew Mr Valadzko’s contract.
Bitu and IndustriAll have launched a joint campaign for the reinstatement of the highly qualified specialist, who remains without work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The unions have also called for all safety measures to be implemented as required by Belarusian legislation for the certification of all Redpath Deilmann workplaces.