24 January 2018, Wednesday, 4:28

Belwest threatens to stop footwear production

Accounts of Belarus's leading footwear manufacturer have been arrested.

Several sources confirm this information to TUT.BY. Personnel fear wages won't be paid ahead of New Year's Day and blame representatives of the local authorities for the situation.

Belwest representatives say: “The Vitebsk region department of the State Control Committee conducted an inspection and found out only positive and profitable performance. The state bodies decided we should share profits with them.” Officers of the Vitesk regional tax office arrested Belwest's accounts on December 10, shortly before paying wages to employees. Decrees of the tax office say more than 8 billion Belarusian rubles of taxes, revenues, duties and penalties must be collected from accounts of the company “due to failure to perform or improper performance of tax liabilities and failure to pay penalty in due time”. Belwest claims the company doesn't have  any “tax or other obligations to the state”. Meanwhile, banks suspended all operations on company's accounts.

The footwear manufacturer thinks the actions by the Vitesbk tax office “violated public interests that resulted in inability to perform operations on accounts and pay to employees, though the collective employment agreements sets the 14th of a month as the payment date”. Belwest company have obligations for social protection of employees – “own health post and canteen that require daily continuous expenses for rendering proper services to employees and fulfilment of safety measures”. “The suspension of all operations on the accounts causes irreparable harm also to company's economic activity. The company cannot implement its loan obligations to banks and obligations to suppliers in due time, cannot buy raw materials and equipment for footwear production. More than 2,000 employees will be left without means of living ahead of New Year's Day because production of footwear will stop,” Belwest employees wrote in a letter.