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EAPL leader: we were not afraid then, we will not be afraid today

‘The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania (EAPL) categorically advocates against the new social model and liberalization of work relationships forced by the Government. The new draft of Labour Code contains articles which will completely worsen the situation of working people in our country,’ said today EAPL deputy Zbignev Jedinskij during a press conference organised in the Seimas.

4000 people gathered at the protest rally against the novelization of Labour Code by the Government’s building last Friday.

According to the member of the Seimas, the new social model forced by authorities contradicts with common sense and is even a ‘model of destructing working people in Lithuania’.

Z. Jedinskij asked rhetorically why authorities are working so hard to amend the Labour Code. ‘Even refugees do not want to come to Lithuania and work under current conditions. If we will continue like that, only authorities and pensioners will stay in Lithuania,’ underlined the deputy.

Chairman of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and member of the European Parliament (MEP) Valdemar Tomaševski claimed that Friday’s protest rally was the biggest one organised in our state in the last few years. ‘It was a rally of new quality because it united all people of good will, when alongside fought representatives of worker’s unions, teachers, national minorities, and employees of cultural sector. These people united because they feel common threat – threat of losing their social status,’ said the EAPL leader and added that situation is very serious, which is why it is necessary to talk about it incessantly and loudly.

‘Votes in the Seimas regarding the new model showed how many supporters do working people have in the parliament. All groups voted for the adoption of the novelization of the Labour Code, only EAPL and some individuals voted against these disastrous changes,’ underlined V. Tomaševski.

Chairman of EAPL said that it is possible that the new document, which violates the rights of people working in the country, is the result of conspiracy between authorities and opposition and employers, a kind of agreement between the authorities and capital, aimed at paying fewer taxes.

MEP linked to the statement made by the director of nursery-kindergarten in Maišiagala Ivona Matviejko, who said that it is unacceptable that pre-school teachers, who have to meet several requirements and whose job is fraught with enormous responsibility, are receiving 400 euros per month, while authorities declare that they can offer refugees 800 euros monthly.

‘Elites got afraid of protest rally, there were several attempts to sabotage it,’ claimed Tomaševski. He then referred to the media, who were speaking about lower number of protesters than it was reported by organizers. ‘These are authorities’ actions according to an old saying ‘Divide and conquer’. We can observe attempts of dissolution of society, distracting attention from the threat of the new Labour Code’, said the EAPL leader.

Despite the fact that the main topic of the rally was the new social model, the media completely omitted that and focused on the national issues and Poles in protest.

‘It is scandalous that the Government has to explain itself before employers. But liberals were the worst. They tried to adopt the new social model in an urgent mode. It seems that not the fearful social democrats rule, but employers together with liberals,’ stated V. Tomaševski.

The politician expressed his satisfaction that despite multiple threats and misinformation so many people turned out to fight for their rights.

The EAPL leader noted that organisers of the protest rally were repeatedly attacked, mainly through the media. V. Tomaševski was also a victim of unrefined attacks.

Let’s recall that lately hysteria was raised in the media about V. Tomaševski’s meeting with the leadership of Baltic Channel One. ‘All officials give interviews for this channel, but it is prohibited for EAPL. Why? It is because rulers fear that citizens will get to know who really stands behind them and protects their rights. We are the only group which in principle does not take any money from business structures,’ said V. Tomaševski.

The politician regretted that after 25 years of independent Lithuania we are witnessing a situation when ex-communists are still in power and are trying to vilify those who are telling the truth and have different opinions. ‘Personally neither in Soviet times, nor currently I am afraid to tell the truth. Already in 1980 I was talking about Katyń massacre and tortures. We were not afraid then, we will not be afraid today,’ claimed the MEP.

‘We will defend employees of education sector and alike of all our forces. We believe that the new social model will not be enforced and Polish schools will come out of threats unscathed,’ concluded V. Tomaševski.