17 October 2017, Tuesday, 5:00

Storm Brewing At Belaruskali

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Salaries are being reduced at the enterprise, and employees are arranging spontaneous protests.

The economic decline is also affecting the strongest sectors of the economy. According to a special report, the main supports of the domestic economy have not overcome the crisis: among other things, Belaruskali income has fallen at times. Salaries are being reduced at the enterprise, and employees are arranging spontaneous protests, belsat.eu writes.

One of the main sources of foreign exchange earnings for Belarus – the supplier of potash fertilizers to more than 90 countries – has experienced a lot of problems recently. Some workers have lost more than half of their salaries in recent months.

Last year, the net income of Belaruskali reduced five times.

"This situation developed at the potash market long time ago, –editor-in-chief of the Economic Newspaper Leanid Frydkin says. – It is still very shaky after the events, part of which was the divorce of Belaruskali with its Russian partners. For the last two years, those countries, which buy potash fertilizers, have had the possibility to knock down prices."

In addition to the relatively low prices for potash fertilizers offered by the world market, experts point to a possible change in the demand for the Belarusian product. In addition, it is possible that China, one of the main customers of Belaruskali, can increase its own production of potash fertilizers. Last year, Chinese media reported the opening of a large field in one of the provinces.

"Competition in the potash fertilizer market can lead to overproduction at any moment. Even if the demand recovers, the offer may exceed it, – Frydkin believes. – It would make sense for the potash producers to create something like potassium OPEK, but it does not happen."

And recently the potash market has received a new player – Turkmenistan. The Garlyksky industrial complex was built with the participation of Belarusian specialists and started work. The solemn ceremony was held during the last visit of Lukashenka.

Does Belarus thus create future competitors for itself? For the time being, we only know that not the most successful years await Belaruskali. Protest moods are growing at the enterprise. However, not only at Belaruskali itself, but also at the organizations, which depend on it. One of them is the trust Remmantazhstroi. A few days ago, its employees refused to do their jobs due to low wages. People were threatened with layoffs. Later, the administration promised to solve their problems gradually.

"We are now actively developing the Petrykau Combine. Most likely, these people will be offered job there, there are larger amounts of work and, accordingly, larger salaries there," – member of the Independent Trade Union of Miners Siarhei Charkasau says.

But parallel to promises, pressure is being put on the most active people at Belkalii. And the Independent Trade Union of Miners has been accused of organizing spontaneous protests.