Belarus celebrates International Workers' Day

1 May 2018

By Anastasia Benedisyuk: Today, Belarus has celebrated 1 May – International Workers' Day, a holiday of spring, peace, and work. Times are changing, but the best that was laid down by the ancestors still exists. 1 May is the kind of tradition that is timeless and unites all generations.

President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Belarusians on Labour Day. The President noted that the main features of the national character of Belarusians are their conscientious attitude to work, honesty, justice, and devotion to their land.

In Belarus, this day is a public holiday. However, today many people continue strengthening the traditions of their ancestors with their painstaking work – for example, at their summer houses.

Public celebrations took place in all regions. In Grodno, a parade of professionals took place. Doctors, teachers, construction workers, and many others welcomed the residents of Grodno in the historical centre of the city. In Mogilev, they chose the best professionals in their business and put their names and pictures on the Honour Board. Minsk also had a busy programme full of entertainment and festive concerts.

In the morning, flowers were laid at the Minsk Hero City Obelisk. The local authorities, farmers, athletes, and performers took part in the ceremony. The Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus also participated in the event. Today, this influential organization unites the working people of the country in the struggle for their rights for labour protection, security, and timely salaries.

Mikhail Orda, the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus:

"1 May is the holiday when we sum up the work of the trade unions. Today we can say that thanks to the efforts of the Federation of Trade Unions, we were able to return unlawfully withheld and unpaid money to people in the amount of 3.2 million rubles. We stood up for protection of 86 people who were illegally dismissed and reinstated them to work. We participated in the investigation of over 100 cases, and we took the position of fairness and objectivity of dealing with accidents in order to protect the rights of union members."

Irina Kostevich, the Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Belarus:

"Work is a great value, and a decent job is the right of every person, and, above all, of course, we need to provide everyone in the labour market with a decent level of salaries and with decent working conditions. There is a positive trend, and we understand that we still have to work hard to ensure a decent level of salaries, with an appropriate level of labour productivity and, of course, safe working conditions."