19 January 2018, Friday, 0:30

Sole traders: If stifled by inspections, we are to strike again


The strike of sole traders across Belarus has been suspended, but it could be renewed any moment.

Charter97.org website has been informed about that by the coordinator of the organizing committee for creation of the trade union of entrepreneurs “Vmeste” (“Together”) Iryna Yaskevich.

She noted that the decision of sole traders of Vitsebsk and Hrodna to suspend the strike does not mean the end of their fight for their rights, but its transformation.

“Soon we are to meet with regional activists, and we’ll try to establish an NGO, which is not to be registered, and which will allow us to maintain ties between all sole traders of Belarus,” she said.

Iryna Yaskevich added that Vitsebsk sole traders had not received an answer of authorities for their appeals and demands.

“After our documents traveled from one office to another, we received an answer for just one question – that we cannot work with the shelf stock of our goods. But even in this answer it is not completely clear what demands will be to our new documents,” the activist stated.

Yaskevich underlined that in case controlling agencies are to start overall inspections with confiscation of goods, individual entrepreneurs of Vitsebsk are to stop work again.

“We shall watch closely how the inspections will happen. We are not in favour of anarchy, we are for work in line with laws. But if raids will be based upon completely incomprehensible novelties, people are certainly to close businesses,” she concluded.

Individual entrepreneurs in some regions renewed work last week. A businessman from Baranavichy Mikalai Charnavus told to charter97.org website that markets renewed work almost right after the strike of July 1, and his arrest for an allegedly illegal action. Later the activist was released before the trial.

However, Charnavus noted the readiness of Baranavichy entrepreneurs to stop work any moment, “in case there would be no opportunity to work without problems.”

“We shall meet with entrepreneurs from cities which supported the strike, and together coordinate our further actions, as we didn’t like Anatoly Shumchanka (the leader of Minsk business association “Perpektiva”) in the contest of this strike. Vitsebsk has shown itself perfectly.

Today I had a phone call from a sole trader from “Palesski” market and was told that there was an inspection, and people closed their trade outlets. If stifling us by inspections is to continue, we are to start a strike again,” he said.

We remind that since July 1, 2014 new regulations for individual entrepreneurs came into force. At marketplaces and trading centers individual entrepreneurs stopped working due to the impossibility to meet the requirements of Lukashenka’s decree no. 222 which demands to have accompanying documents and certificates for all goods.

Sole traders in Homel, Baranavichy, Mahilyou, Vitsebsk, Pinsk, Svetlahorsk went on strike. Minsk sole traders didn’t support the strike.

P.S. As it was reported recently, since July 22 mass inspections are to start at marketplaces and shopping centres of Belarus. They are related to coming into force of the Law “On state regulations of trade and public catering in Belarus.”