What is happening with the plant and its Lithuanian subsidiary?
The Belarusian metallurgical plant did not fall under the sanctions of the EU and the USA, while some European companies refuse to cooperate with this enterprise, writes the Lithuanian newspaper lrt.lt (translated by Zerkalo. Reportedly, BMZ actively supplies products to the European market, including through its Lithuanian "daughter," which was created in 2008. At the same time, Lithuania sheltered more than 30 former workers of this plant, who fear persecution. We have collected several interesting facts related to BMZ.
About the Lithuanian "daughter" of BMZ
The Belarusian Metallurgical Plant promotes its products in the markets of the Baltic countries through the BMZ-Baltia Trading House, which was established in 2008. The office is located in Siauliai. Belarusians own 55% of this joint venture.
According to lrt.lt, one of the founders of BMZ-Baltia was Andrius Sedzius, a former member of the Lithuanian Seimas, a businessman from Siauliai. “This was probably one of the biggest mistakes in my life,” Andrius Sedzius told the Lithuanian newspaper. He reportedly sold his stake in the business.
As stated on the website of the organization, the company is the official representative of OJSC BMZ - the management company of the holding Belarusian Metallurgical Company. It supplies steel products to Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and Germany. The trading house sells wholesale construction fittings, wire, seamless pipes, and other products of the Belarusian holding. The main activity of BMZ-Baltia is the wholesale of construction fittings, wire, seamless pipes, and other types of products.
Now 12 people work in the Lithuanian "daughter," according to Sodra (an analog of our FSZN). The average salary in September was € 3,384. The statutory fund of the company is about 13.2 million euros.
About deliveries to the European market
“BMZ-Baltia has only 12 employees and no production, but the sales volume is several hundred million euros per year. Not only European but also African countries supply Belarusian metal through Lithuania,” writes lrt.lt.
Earlier, it was not BMZ that reported that more than half of the deliveries came to the European market.
BMZ reported earlier in May that Lithuania ranked second in imports of the company's products. Only Russia bought more than this country. Israel, Germany, and Poland were also in the top-5.
Let us remind you that, at the beginning of 2021, the authorities provided state support to BMZ, which is experiencing problems due to a high debt load. In 2020, BMZ came out of losses into a modest plus - last year's net profit amounted to 36 thousand rubles after the unprofitable year of 2019, which resulted in minus 159 million rubles. The company's revenue decreased by 7.2% to 2.7 billion rubles.
Long-term liabilities amounted to 1.2 billion rubles. At the same time, long-term loans and borrowings decreased to 958 million, instead of 1.02 billion in 2019. Short-term liabilities amounted to 3.9 billion rubles. Long-term accounts receivable increased and reached 25.6 million rubles.
About dismissed workers who left for Lithuania
More than 35 former BMZ employees who left the country because of the threat of persecution now live in Lithuania, lrt.lt reports. This was told by Vadim Laptik, who had previously intended to become the chairman of the primary organization of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union at BMZ, but the enterprise was not allowed to create a primary organization.
On the refusal of some companies to cooperate with BMZ
“The Belarusian holding evaded US and EU sanctions, although it persecuted workers who joined the mass strikes in connection with the election of Lukashenka,” writes lrt.lt. However, this summer, part of the business refused to cooperate with the company, the Lithuanian newspaper notes. “Swedish Scandia Steel has ended its business relationship with the steel plant. Earlier in May, the partner of the metallurgical plant, Michelin France, issued a statement condemning human rights violations at the plant and was going to interview the dismissed workers of BMZ,” the Lithuanian newspaper notes.
Let us remind you that, in May, BMZ collected signatures under an open letter for preventing Western sanctions against the enterprise.
Earlier, the leadership of IndustriALL global union, representing 50 million workers in the mining, energy, and processing industries, appealed to the BMZ CEO not to violate workers' rights and “reinstate all unjustly dismissed workers, end harassment and persecution of union members, and register a branch of the Belarusian independent trade union (BNP) at BMZ.”
In early February, one of the world's largest tire manufacturers, Michelin, already appealed to the management of BMZ regarding the violation of workers' rights.