19 December 2018, Wednesday, 9:32
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“Our Patience Is Exhausted”: Workers Went On Strike In Minsk

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The strike has been declared because of the pay pause.

Employees of BKT Construction, a Minsk enterprise for the production of doors, appealed to the editorial office. “We have been on strike since yesterday – two workshops are left idle. We have not been paid for a few months. We were given some kopecks for September, that's all,” – one of the strikers says. The company's management denies the fact of the strike, says that “no one is on strike, the workers are painting doorframes, according to the plan, there are three shipments today,” tut.by reports.

According to the workers, the production at the BKT Construction enterprise has been standing idle since yesterday.

– They don’t pay us, – one of the strikers says. – They have not settled it up for September yet, and we’ve heard nothing but crickets chirping about the October salary. And a half of November has passed already.

The factory workers say that under the contract, their salary is to be paid on the 10th of each month.

– The director has said that we should not look at the contract, he will pay us on the 25th. But October 25 has long passed, not to mention September, but we haven’t seen any money, – the man continues. – They gave money on the 25th only a couple of times. We’ve lost our patience.

The fact that the production is idle, has been confirmed by another worker.

– The carpenter's workshop and the metalworking shop are standing idle. The salary for September and October has not been paid yet, – the man says. – The administration does not want to fulfill the obligations – to pay salaries. The company has enough orders, the shipments are underway. But the director says that we have no money.

According to employees of the company, the salary delays began when their management changed. And this strike is not the first one.

– Last time, we went on strike in summer. We did not work for a week. Then they paid us some arrears of salaries. We started to work. A little later, they gave the rest of the money. We do not want to work, there is no motivation. There are about 80 people here. And they do not pay to all of us, – the people say.

According to the workers, every month they get a different amount, they do not have a fixed salary.

– Each month, the salary differs. Sometimes, it is about 1000 rubles. And for September, they gave us only the net base salary. I got less than 400 rubles. In October, according to the salary calculation, it was more, about 900 rubles to take home. But this is only according to oral information provided by the authorities, I have not seen the payroll, – the worker says. – The company is mainly engaged in the production of doors. But we also produce consumer goods – wooden plates, cutting boards, and so on.

According to the workers, some people quit because of the salary situation.

“Most of those, who have been working here for a long time, stay, – one of the strikers notes. – I'll wait a little longer. If the situation does not change, I will also quit.

The factory workers are going to strike until they are paid in full.

By the way, there are also enough complaints that this company does not pay wages on the Internet sites with takes on work in different organizations and firms. The first one was published in January 2018.

We asked the management of the company to comment on what is happening.

– I’m at the factory now, I don’t observe any strike, – the deputy director of the enterprise said. – It cannot be ruled out that we have a 2–3 week wage delay.

But I cannot confirm the fact that the people have not received the salary for September. The plant is large, it employs 150 people. One employee might still be underpaid, and another one could be paid off. But workers are a category of people who like to generalize and make the big picture out of a particular case. We have three shipments scheduled today. The work is in progress, door frames are being painted, leaves are being packed. I do not know who is standing idle.