Who does want Belarusians to work for nothing?
Almost the entire Belarus lies between the place where Hrodna trolleybus driver jumped into the Neman and the claim of workers of the Halch poultry farm, Vetka district, against their management. But there is one thing in common: both the driver and women on the factory suffered the sleep loss. People worked 17-18 hours.
Does it resemble the beginning of the 19th century and work at first factories in Europe? The leader of the Independent Trade Union of Radio and Electronic Industry (REP), Henadz Fyadynich, commented the Charter97.org on the situation with working conditions and salaries in Belarus.
- What is happening to the right to 40 working hours per week in Belarus? Are these stories of Hrodna and Vetka a rule or an exception?
- I'd like to notice that these two facts are just the top of all outrage and lawlessness on the labour market. Both cases are indicative: people constantly work long hours and completely do not know their rights.
But it's not surprising. It took many years and efforts to develop the contract system so that employees turned into "new serfs". People are trained not to read the contract thoroughly.
The situation repeats in the trade sphere, in the sphere of services, processing and at private enterprises. Employees are given an "oppressive contract" and then they fall behind the interest of employers. Large-scale public dishonor of working people, who are valued less than the equipment at plants during the industrial revolution in England, occurs.
- What stories do people tell the REP? What are the most haunting?
- It would take me many days, if I started enumerating all of them. Sometimes we laugh that we are about to suffer the sleep loss and give up on wekends - a lot of issues with the violation of the Labour Code occur.
One of the most common tricks is to sign an independent-work contract and then do not pay for work. At that, people often fail with a chance even to learn it through. What? The situation on the labor market is complex. There will always be people who agree to work and to sign the paper unlearned.
Speaking frankly, I'd like to gather around the round table those who fool people and to say: "Guys, stop mocking people!" They may not understand that it does not last long. It will backfire.
And we'll push for it. We will provide assistance to every person who seeks aid in the REP. And every fact will become public. It's an old story: both the authorities and unfair employers are afraid of publicity. The cat shuts its eyes when it steals the cream.
- What's new happened recently?
- 15 people working in Zaslaul Evroopt cry for help. And today three more people have come. The situation is that people do not have there working experience recorded. A person just worked for nothing.
- I'd like to talk about this. You say that many people work long hours. Is this paid? What is the situation with real salaries?
- What are you talking about?! Belarusians are hammered with concoctions. The salary statistics reminds of fairy tales.
Salaries of people especially in districts are as low as they can only dream about a decent salary. The statistics look so ridiculous that even imagination is useless. It's a phantom, a ghost. And everyone knows it.
There is statistics, a candidate dissertation, and there is the truth. And the truth is awful.
- What do you specifically mean? The statistics says that around 9.5 thousand people fall behind the poverty line. And what are true figures?
- There are much more of those who can't make ends meet.
Then you should take into account those who work long hours, or have two or more jobs to somehow support their families. It's not a norm to work a lot for a penny.
It can't last long.
No one is interested in figures provided by propaganda. It's enough look into a purse to see the truth. Due to Belarusian pricing, a Belarusian needs 500 rubles a month at least for food in order not to feel like a farmhand.
- Is it possible under the current regime?
- It's hard to imagine. Amid drop in income of people, thereare few more disturbing tendencies: the most talanted and healthy people leave abroad, and the Pension Fund has a hole of $150 million or even more.
And the authorities persistently try to shift problems on people's shoulders. This is unacceptable. People have nothing to do with it. Unlike the authorities.
Everyone knows that they have failed. Belarus needs new approaches, new technologies to head the country.
The attitude of people has experienced drastic changes. People are well aware of who is to blame. If those who run the country retired tomorrow, we would be happy to give them a hand and say: "Guys, there is nothing to be grateful for, but give other people a chance to head the country.
- Once people of Poland united around the Solidarity Trade Union. Now their average salary equals to $1300. Will the Belarusians finally unite?
- I do hope so. I really want Belarusian workers and employees to unite. They have both strength and potential for it.
There are only few people left who are satisfied with this government. The absolute majority and the truth are on our side.