VAZ refused Borisov generators, Minsk region

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April 22, 2016 17:54

Workers of the Borisov Plant of Automotive Electrical Equipment (JSC “BATE”) say, the Volga Automobile Plant (AvtoVAZ) refused delivery of a large batch of automobile generators manufactured in Borisov, quoting their unsatisfactory quality.

A delegation of BATE experts was sent to Toliatti however failed to overturn the decision. 

Comment 

This was not the first industrial dispute of the kind. Traditionally, Borisov plant is one of the largest suppliers of starters and generators to the assembly line of VAZ. The Russian auto giant aims to have several suppliers of components and mounts to avoid price dictates and deterioration of quality and to encourage competition among suppliers. 

The delivery refusal of generators from Borisov could seriously impair the financial and economic situation at the BATE, particularly during the foreign currency crisis in Belarus. 

This Borisov company is one of the largest in the city (3.5 thousand employees), it managed to stay afloat largely because of the secondary market. Given the lifetime of starters and generators manufactured at the Borisov BATE was usually less than the lifetime of a car, there was a steady demand for these products from the owners of old cars from Russia and other CIS countries. Therefore, the affordable price of Borisov starters and generators, and perhaps surprisingly, their relatively poor quality, contribute to their sales at the secondary market. Nevertheless, a temporary moratorium of the AvtoVAZ, the main consumer of the BATE products, on the deliveries of generators, indeed, severely damages the image of the Belarusian enterprise.

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Growth in real wages may disrupt macroeconomic balance in Belarus
October 02, 2017 12:12
Фото: Дмитрий Брушко, TUT.BY

The rapid increase in wages has led to a decline in the ratio between labour productivity and real wages to one. Previously, the rule was that enterprises, in which the state owned more than 50% of shares in the founding capital, were not allowed increasing salaries if this ratio was equal to or less than one. The authorities are unlikely to be able to meet the wage growth requirement without long-term consequences for the economy. Hence, the government is likely to contain wage growth for the sake of economic growth.

According to Belstat, In January – August 2017, GDP growth was 1.6%. The economic revival has led to an increase in wages. In August, the average monthly wage was BYN 844.4 or USD 435, i.e. grew by 6.6% since early 2017, adjusted for inflation. This has reduced the ratio between labour productivity and real wages from 1.03 in January 2017 to 1 in the first seven months of 2017. This parameter should not be less than 1, otherwise, the economy starts accumulating imbalances.

The need for faster growth in labour productivity over wage growth was stated in Decree No 744 of July 31st, 2014. The decree enabled wages growth at state organizations and organizations with more than 50% of state-owned shares only if the ratio between growth in labour productivity and wages was higher than 1. Taking into account the state's share in the economy, this rule has had impact on most of the country's key enterprises. In 2013 -2014 wages grew rapidly, which resulted in devaluation in 2014-2015.

Faster wage growth as compared with growth in labour productivity carries a number of risks. Enterprises increase cost of wages, which subsequently leads to a decrease in the competitiveness of products on the domestic and foreign markets. In construction, wholesale, retail trade, and some other industries the growth rate of prime cost in 2017 outpaces the dynamics of revenue growth. This is likely to lead to a decrease in profits and a decrease in investments for further development. Amid wage growth, the population is likely to increase import consumption and reduce currency sales, which would reduce the National Bank's ability to repay foreign and domestic liabilities.

The Belarusian government is facing a dilemma – either to comply with the president’s requirement of a BYN 1000 monthly wage, which could lead to new economic imbalances and could further affect the national currency value, or to suspend the wage growth in order to retain the achieved economic results. That said, the first option bears a greater number of negative consequences for the nomenclature.

Overall, the rapid growth in wages no longer corresponds the pace of economic development. The government is likely to retain the economic growth and retrain further growth in wages. Staff reshuffles are unlikely to follow the failure to meet the wage growth requirement.

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