Solidarity Statement in Support of the People of Belarus

The United Steelworkers union in Canada, representing more than 225,000 workers in mining and many other sectors of the economy, are deeply concerned about the brutal violence and repression against the people of Belarus.

After more than two months of peaceful protests against a fraudulent election, the illegal detentions, the arrest of thousands of protesters and the clamping down on reporters continue.  Opposition leaders have been pushed to exile or arrested.  Human rights organizations report torture and abuse of detained protesters.

We are concerned about the arrest of trade unionists who have taken part in peaceful protests, including Nikolay Zimin, former president of the mining and chemical workers’ union BNP and Maksim Sereda, the chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Miners (UMTO).

Furthermore, the police have detained more than 20 workers participating in peaceful actions against a state potash mining company, demanding the resignation of the company’s director and the release of other miners who have been detained in recent weeks while joining the political protests in the country.

The people of Belarus have the right to free and fair elections, fundamental freedoms to demand their rights and a well-functioning rule of law.

The USW in Canada joins the international union movement’s call to denounce the violent attacks by the police and special security forces against the people of Belarus.  We demand that authorities immediately stop all violence, illegal detentions and persecution and all imprisoned union leaders, activists and civil society are released.  We also demand that people’s right to choose their government is respected by holding elections with an independent election commission and international observers.

Press Inquiries

Thank You

Thank you for contacting us. We will try to get back to you in a timely manner.

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Shannon Devine
416-544-5946 or

Communications Department:
Nicole Desnoyers

Communications Department - Québec
Clairandrée Cauchy

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
234 Eglinton Ave. E., 8th Floor
Toronto, ON M4P 1K7