According to information available to BNS, the seminar on Trade Unions in a Civil Society was attended by three members of the Confederation of Lithuanian Trade Unions and two members of the Lithuanian Labour Federation.
Held on June 3-11, the training was organized for trade unions of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
“There were trade union matters – cooperation. There were people from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus and one more country. We all spoke about how trade union cooperation is conducted there, we shared our practices, there were various psychological sessions on clarifying things with employers who wants to sack you,” Daiva Pakulienė of the Lithuanian Labour Federation who works at a school in the Kaunas district told BNS.
The accommodation costs and meals were covered by the inviting party.
Artūras Černiauskas, the chairman of the Confederation of Lithuanian Trade Unions, told BNS that the trainings were ordinary and had nothing to do with politics. He confirmed that more events in Russia took place this year, including one he attended in spring.
In his words, Russian trade unions belong to international organizations of trade unions and the cooperation with them continues based on a decision that “cooperation of trade unions is above politics”.
Five representatives of Lithuanian trade unions acted thoughtlessly when they travelled to Moscow for training. Social Democratic Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Algirdas Sysas says he had information about the planned trip and recommended them not to go.
“I recommended them to refrain from such visits in the existing context as the attendance of even the smallest event might lead to rumours, some fragments, contexts. I would think they acted thoughtlessly. We know how even the most independent trade unions work with President Vladimir Putin hand in hand as I have once attended their convention and saw how it works. I think the amount of knowledge of our trade unions would have not dropped, had they not attended that training,” Sysas told BNS.
He also criticized Artūras Černiauskas, the chairman of the Confederation of Lithuanian Trade Unions, for his spring visit to Sochi, reminding of the fact that this Russian city, which hosted the last year’s winter Olympics, has “a special context.” Sysas also provided several examples of the Seimas’ decisions not to attend certain sports events in Russia.