Now the strike is the only way to prevent the country from being taken away from us.
Artem Chernikov, an activist of the Hrodna Azot strike committee, stated this in an interview with Charter97.org.
- You supported Siarhei Dyleuski's call to stay at home from November 1. Why do you think this is so important?
- Any initiative aimed at improving the situation in the country is important. The idea of a strike was one of the very first topics after the brutality of the security forces on the streets of the country. Remembering the world experience and the largest strikes, there is no doubt that, in Belarus, this can become one of the most key moments in the peaceful resolution of the conflict between the authorities and the Belarusian people.
Staying at home is the best option to strike during the pandemic. Some people in Belarus call this method of strike a “people's lockdown.” For the reason that the authorities do not care about the observance of standards in the field of health care at a time when people die in the hundreds. And the authorities turn a blind eye to this and cancel even the most elementary methods of protecting the population.
- According to your information, how are things at Hrodna Azot, where you worked? There have been many accidents at the plant lately. What is the reason for this?
- At Hrodna Azot, a lot of people were on sick leave even before the announcement of the national strike. And since November 1, this number has grown significantly. It is also known that some took holidays at their own expense. I think that, in the course of the strike, the number of those who will join will grow. After all, a lot depends on this.
The last stop of production at Hrodna Azot took place on October 15 at the Ammonia-3 workshop. The emergency happened less than a week after the start of the equipment, which is why it was also necessary to stop the workshop Urea-3 since these two workshops are interconnected. It can be concluded that the quality of repair work has significantly decreased if the equipment cannot work adequately for a week after launch. I think this is because the number of really cool specialists has decreased, and the recruitment to the enterprise due to the outflow of personnel has become very "loyal" to people without professional education.
- Recently, an investigation about Igor Lyashenko appeared on the Web. How does the information that the head of the enterprise is living a luxurious life, despite the poor results of the work of Hrodna Azot, affect the workers?
- Nobody expected anything good from the new director. It was clear that he was going to establish his own rules at the enterprise. Everyone found out about his previous jobs, found acquaintances, and asked them what kind of a person he was. There was practically no positive feedback about him from his previous jobs.
Those who read the investigation were particularly surprised by the place of residence in the premises in Drazdy in Lukashenka’s residence. There were jokes about it.
- How can a strike solve the problems of the workers of the enterprise?
- Firstly, it will solve the common problem of Belarusians, change the course of events in our favor.
Secondly, the workers will understand that they can indeed resolve issues collectively. And then, any odious leader will be afraid to do something wrong to the working class. If he cuts the number of working clothes - we strike. If he cuts back on bonuses - we strike.
Workers realize that it is up to them to improve their lives. The experience of the strike in Belarus will benefit all people for the same reason. A strike is our constitutional right. And the Constitution is above any code that has been rewritten an infinite number of times.
- On November 4, the impostor Lukashenka signed "alliance programs" with Russia. In this connection, the leader of the European Belarus civil campaign Andrei Sannikau stated that citizen Lukashenka committed high treason. What should Belarusians do now to protect the country's sovereignty?
- Lukashenka has long betrayed the Belarusian people. Now, in addition, he sold for his debts. I only have a question for some "democratic forces": did you really think that he would not do this? If this is not a trigger, then what could possibly be a trigger? It is clear that his signatures are not valid since he is not a legitimate "president." But the situation itself is blatant. Lukashenka is a criminal who should be in prison. And it's time for international society and democratic forces to understand that playing with a dictator is many times more expensive for everyone than ending any relationship with him.
Belarusians must take the situation into their own hands. In fact, they are trying to take the country away from us. And to restore the rule of law, you just need to stay at home. There is simply no better initiative right now. A strike is a peaceful method. This should be as clear as day. The country had to be stopped even earlier. But now the situation is simply appalling and everyone needs to concentrate on one thing - Lukashenka's departure and a peaceful change of power.