The authorities want to turn Belarus into one big "labor camp".
The leader of the Independent Trade Union of Radio and Electronic Industry (REP) Henadz Fyadynich stated that to Charter97.org.
- The head of pro-government Federation of Trade Unions, Mikhail Arda, has recently stated as sound as a bell that a Minsk enterprise worked 48 minutes a day. How could you comment on such an official statement?
- I'd like to say that I have faced such an egregious case for the first time. This is a small enterprise with about 100 employees there, but the authorities have failed to secure the right to decent work and a full salary for them.
The other outrageous thing is that Mikhail Arda spoke from the high rostrum and declared it a single negative example. What has Arda done to make this example positive? Why should these people with no money even for essential things support them? What is the advantage of such a "Trade Union" which can do nothing to protect rights of workers?
Mikhail Arda's statement is an indicative example of how the Belarus' regime is trying to exist at the expense of a worker. People deprived of work must also support the army of state "parasites".
Of course, any enterprise may face challenges; many of them have to take 3- or 4-day work week in a down economy. But if there are independent Trade Unions, they defend rights of workers until the end. After all, any reduction in working hours can be done so that interests of workers are taken into account as much as possible. And official "Trade Union" is just an appentage of the Ministry of Labor and it has no independence. As a result, everything in the country is done at the expense of ordinary people, the whole burden of the crisis is on the shoulders of workers.
It's high time for Belarusians to leave official "Trade Unions" and to create their own. Otherwise, they will have to support officials-"parasites".
- What are other implicit threats the part-time work week bear?
- There is one thing one should understand: not only now these people receive less money to support their families. These months and years are not included in the work experience. It means no full-fledged pensions in future. Especially in the light of new rules for calculating the amount of a pension.
Thus, Belarusians are given a time bomb and the inability of the authorities to cope with the crisis will have consequences in future as well..
- What social problems can exacerbate this autumn?
- First, the decree on "spongers" is still valid. It has just been sent to be fixed. And we do not know what it may result in in the end of the year. Our task is to make sure that this illegal decree will simply not work.
Speaking frankly, I am more concerned about other issue: all indications are that real income of population is going to decrease. All the stories of bureaucrats starting from the highest one about mythical figures are a complete utopia. The salary of 200-250 rubles may become the reality this autumn. People in the regions will have to work for $100 a month! And prices for food and "housing and utility services" will increase after the summer.
Reasons of the economic crisis have neither been fixed nor abandoned.
And here major problems begin: hidden unemployment grows, all sorts of bureaucrats' shenanigans on creation of the employment illusion start.
Now a significant part of Belarusians work on the "labor camp" principle": people are forced to public works and have no standard documents signed.
The authorities force people only to make ends meet.
- What does the REP Trade Union intend to do in this situation?
- We must unite and to take a stand for a decent life and our rights. October 7 is the World Day for Decent Work. We plan to hold actions across Belarus requiring decent payment for people. Once again the authorities deceived Belarusians and referred to fantastic figures on salaries and did nothing in real life. It is time to put an end to these lies and demand answers.