“Belaruskaliy” Workers Threaten By Protest Actions 15:56, 12/09/2006
Salihorsk miners are to be denied the right to take tree per cent money loans from their enterprise for building dwellings. This decree was issued in the Belneftechim concern. This document also proposes to solve the housing problem of workers through bank credits which interest rates are four times as high.
The trade union activist Alyaksandr Karalyou explained to the Radio Svaboda what an order had been signed by the chairman of the concern Alyaksandr Barouski, and why miners are worried.
“The order number 701 of July 31, 2006 has been officially declared already. The reaction of people is negative. Now collection of signatures is made among members of cooperative housing societies”.
A representative of a housing department of the administration of the enterprise Tatsyana Vasilyava says that the conflict sparkled in cooperatives of tenant builders:
“We have one cooperative society created and registered, but it is having difficulties because of financial situation. The trade union of chemists and the independent trade union sent appeals to the concern, to the presidential administration and to the regional executive committee. In their letters they say that protest actions are possible”.
A representative of Salihorsk in the Belarusian congress of democratic trade unions Viktar babied reminds that favourable credits for housing had been gained by miners during earlier strikes and meetings.
“All workers of Belaruskaliy without exception used these credits. There is a collective agreement between the administration and trade unions. Belaruskaliy is to satisfy obligations,” Babaed said.
Viktar babied told that independent trade union movement of Belarus has appeared after the wave of strikes in Salihorsk. In 1992 miners stopped work for 43 days.
In November 2002 in Salihorsk a 5,000-strong meeting was held against the prohibition to transfer money for independent trade unions through cashless transfers.
This summer about 20,000 workers of the enterprise have been receiving only one third of their salaries because of problems with sales. Experts claim that the administration is forced to cut down expenses because of financial losses. That is why favourable credits for housing are cancelled.