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Opinions & Interviews

22 Dec 2015

Lukashenko: Social security remains in the center of attention

Lukashenko: Social security remains in the center of attention

MINSK, 22 December (BelTA) – Social security remains in the center of attention of the state. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during the meeting with Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FTUB) Mikhail Orda on 22 December, BelTA has learned.

The head of state thanked Mikhail Orda for taking part in the presidential election campaign. “We absolutely don’t try to hide it. Youth organizations and you together with government agencies did more than anyone for the sake of proper organization of the election campaign. One can say you were at the frontline. You talked to people, informed them about what was going on, you asked them if necessary. People repaid us in kind. It had a lot to do with your contribution, particularly trade union functionaries,” said the President.

“Now we have to form the power vertical where it is necessary without deceiving the people. It is our key task. Although we didn’t promise everything under the sun, nevertheless, people expect a better life. And we have to do our best to make it happen,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko. He remarked that he was interested in learning about the mood of working Belarusians taking into account the evolving economic situation.

“The year will be a very complicated one. We are to blame for it and our neighbors, too. They messed up things more than necessary. We may need years to straighten them out. It is their problems but ours, too, since our main markets are Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Not everything is so simple as far as the European Union is concerned. You know how they are unwilling to let us sell our products. The European market is extremely well-protected. It is hard to sell the products we have over there. We make the same kinds of merchandise that they do — tractors, automobiles, food, and apparel. Even if our quality and prices are better, they will not let us trade, at least it is very difficult to penetrate that market,” said the head of state.

“This is why we are looking for markets in distant places. We are reaching for the far arc via Vietnam, Indonesia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. We are trying to sell Belarusian products over there in addition to the United States of America where the market is very profitable. But everything isn’t simple. The people have to understand it,” added the President.

Alexander Lukashenko asked what instructions were still unfulfilled after the seventh congress of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus. The head of state underlined that everything promised during the congress has to be implemented.

Mikhail Orda noted they had managed to resolve many problems that working Belarusians were concerned about.

Alexander Lukashenko made it clear that social security should remain in the center of attention. This is why the state social model will be left as it is. Preserving the number of jobs and offering social and legal protection to working Belarusians remain the general tasks of the government agencies and the trade unions.

The head of state was told that the Federation sees negative trends such as workers being fired, contracts not being extended, and the number of available jobs being reduced. The President underlined that such things should not happen.

The FTUB suggested improving the legislation that regulates compensations for workers at enterprises, which are subjected to rehabilitation measures. In particular, the establishment of a compensation fund was suggested. The fund is supposed to pay out compensations to workers of the enterprise if the enterprise has nothing to sell and no financial resources to pay the compensations on its own.

Apart from that, the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus suggested expanding the market of insurance services to insure workers against unemployment.

The President was also informed about the state of affairs at the country's oldest enterprise – the Mogilev-based company OAO Strommashina. The company has a lot of debts, which make breakeven operation difficult. The head of state was asked to help the company with orders. It would allow the company to improve the financial state of affairs and secure stable operation.

The state of affairs at a number of other enterprises was mentioned as well. The President gave the relevant instructions, which the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus will carry out together with the Belarus government.

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