The company is one of the main customers of Belarusian state-owned enterprises. He assured that his presence in Belarus has made progress in protecting workers’ rights.
Should we do business with a dictatorship? For international companies cooperating with Belarus, this issue is not new. But since the August 2020 presidential election and the intensified repression of the Alexander Lukashenko regime, this situation has become more acute. Among the foreign companies that decided to stay, the Norwegian chemical company Yara is an expert in mineral fertilizers and one of the main customers of Belarusian state-owned enterprises, a world leader in the potash fertilizer market.
At the end of November, Yala fell into turmoil after Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya, the leader of the Belarusian opposition in exile in Lithuania, tweeted.She asked the Norwegian “Terminate all cooperation with Belarusian state-owned enterprises or force them to respect the rights of employees”.
The drama has a terrible life in Oslo“We only talk about us when other Western companies are present, and don’t do anything for workers’ rights, which is a bit unfair”, Said Geir Sundbo, employee representative on Yara’s board of directors.Since August 2020, he has been working with “Every day, 7 days a week”, With the leaders of the independent trade union BITU: “They want us to stay”, He said that the management of BITU has joined world, comfirmed.
The Yara Group is 36.2% controlled by the Norwegian State and 6.8% controlled by the public pension fund. At the beginning of December, the company’s boss estimated that the situation at the scene was not “Untenable” : Svein Tore once condemned “Dismissal of workers who peacefully express democratic rights” And stated that he has contacted the Belarusian ambassador to Scandinavia to request “The conditions and relations with the Belarusian labor force are about to be substantially improved, stop using retaliation, and improve working safety conditions.”
Specifically, Pablo Barrera Lopez, Yara’s executive vice president of communications and procurement, reported on some progress made in recent months. first of all, “Belarus has agreed to implement a jointly developed security plan”. Yara’s security experts are currently in Soligorsk and “It will work with Belaruskali to improve labor and process safety in its operations.”