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12 Jan 2021

Professional Union of Belarusians in Britain (PUBB)

Letter: MTZ Belarus - Caperpillar's corporate and social responsibility

3 September 2020

...We write to draw your attention to the ongoing human rights violations in Belarus. Below, we summarize recent developments in Belarus and note that the US, UK and EU have condemned the brutal handling of the recent protests by Belarusian government and have not recognised the recent presidential elections in Belarus as free and fair.

Caterpillar is one of the main suppliers of engines to the Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ), a large state-owned enterprise located in Minsk, Belarus (https://eng.belta.by/economics/view/belarusian-mtz-tractors-to-get-stage-v-emission-standard-engines-116932-2018/).Recently, several members of MTZ's strike committee were arrested and detained as the current political regime attempts to intimidate workers intending to go on strike (https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/belarusian-labour-activists-pressured-political-crisis-drags/). Profits earned by MTZ go directly to the Belarusian government that channels these funds to brutally suppress peaceful demonstrations, limit free speech, and falsify elections. Therefore, we strongly believe that commercial relationships between Caterpillar and MTZ go against 1. Caterpillar’s Human Rights policy; 2. Caterpillar’s corporate values, particularly the Caterpillar’s value of “integrity”; 3. Caterpillar’s ESG commitments and Corporate Social Responsibility; 4. UK’s Global Human Rights Act passed by the UK parliament on 6 July 2020...