Pay cuts and payment delays affected all regions
Payment delays have recently affected all regions, but the situation is far from critical. In response to the payment situation, workers have tended to change their working places, including emigrating for work to Russia and other countries, rather than organizing open protests or fighting for their rights.
Official data says that the share of delayed payments is less than 1% of the payroll. The main trend in November 2013 – January 2014 was pay cuts due to reduced working hours.
Problems with sales of finished goods, the lack of financial resources and the need to raise wages in the public sector have led to many industrial enterprises reducing their working hours. As a result, since November 2013, workers’ wages have been gradually declining. Directors at enterprises have also started using another trick – they started changing contractual terms and shifting salary payment dates from mid-month to month-end. Salary and social allowance payment delays were noted in all regions.
The most difficult situation was in agriculture. In some districts of the Vitebsk region, salaries were not paid by 80-90% of agricultural enterprises. In late December 2013, circa 200 organizations in Mogilev had not paid salaries, including large industrial enterprises. Today, over 100 organizations in Mogilev still have not paid out salaries.
In response to the payment situation, workers have tended to change their working places, including emigrating for work to Russia and other countries, rather than organizing open protests or fighting for their rights.
According to the latest data, the only group of workers, which actively expresses discontent with their wage levels are health care workers. Ambulance workers from four Belarusian cities started collecting signatures for a petition against low wages in healthcare (Minsk, Grodno, Brest and Novogrudok (Minsk Oblast) oblast hospitals).