23 April 2019, Tuesday, 15:58
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Stokers From Vileika Paid $61

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What do you think of such existence?

“We, the undersigned, work as stokers in Lepel district consumers society of the Vitsebsk region and receive a salary of BYN 150 without deductions, and then we receive BYN 129 net of any taxes each. We are also given soap and gloves - the norm for the month is 400 grams of soap and 1 pair of gloves for 2 months. Who establishes this norm? Our work is not clean, we need to wash ourselves often. And from our meager wages we need to buy washing powder and gloves, as they get torn quickly.

We went to complain and ask for salary increases for more than one season. Many of us have been working for 10-12 years already. But our chairman answers us that all the stokers in the Vitsebsk region have such a salary, and if we don’t like it, there will be others in our place. We work under a contractor agreement, and not under an employment contract. We believe that this is a violation of the law. For whom, then, are laws being passed if they do not concern ordinary workers? ”, the workers from Vileika wrote to the editorial office of Svobodnye Novosti.

In a telephone conversation with the author of the letter, the journalists managed to find out that the district consumers society hires the unemployed and retired people for several months during the heating season under a contractor agreement. People work as stokers, heating with firewood and briquette the trading and catering establishments in Lepel.

The work is carried out on a sliding schedule: for example, if a shop or cafe opens at nine o'clock in the morning, workers are required to go to work at six in order to have time to heat the premises. During the working day it is impossible to leave the workplace, as it is necessary to monitor the pressure in the heating boiler. 2-3 stokers work in different establishments, replacing each other. The shift in the cafe continues until the last visitor is gone.

Apart from the stoker’s salary, the interlocutor receives a pension of BYN 220. With a salary of 349 rubles a month, from which it is necessary pay utility bills. What do you think of such existence?

By the way, the wonder-gloves - 1 pair for 2 months — are the cheapest ones, for a ruble, with PVC specks on the working surface. Formerly there was a sewing workshop in which working mittens were made. But now there is no shop and no mittens either.

In addition to the letter to the newspaper, 27 stokers from Lepel sent an appeal to the Lukashenka administration and are now waiting for an answer.