Favorable conditions for reorganisation of security business created in Belarus
Fights between customers and security guards occurred in a number of shopping centres in Belarus this summer.
Acts of violence involving customers and security guards provide the state with an additional leverage to influence private retail chain stores - primarily in terms of employment of dismissed employees of the Ministry of the Interior. So far the state has not taken active steps in this area.
A young man was beaten up by the guards in one of the stores of the Minsk ‘Korona’ chain at the beginning of May and, as a result, the young man lost his ability to work. A customer was beaten up by the guards in the ‘Volgograd’ supermarket in the capital in June, and this lead to the customer’s death in hospital. Two customers were beaten up in one of the ‘Evroopt’ stores of Gomel in August.
The typical characteristic of all these incidents is the initial conflict between guards and customers as a reason for violence on the part of store security guards. Moreover, in all these cases criminal proceedings were instigated by prosecutors and the Investigation Committee. Finally, the mentioned stores are private enterprises (‘Volgograd Department Stores’ private company) and are a part of large, private commercial chains (‘Korona’ and ‘Evroopt’ stores). Finally, all these incidents were widely publicised via photos and video footage as well as testimonies of eye-witnesses put on the Internet.
Thus, in practice favorable conditions are created for ‘protection of citizens’ by the state and interfering into activities of private enterprises. Such actions were undertaken by the authorities after the patient’s death in one of the private cosmetic surgery clinics of Minsk in spring - extensive checks of the entire healthcare industry were subsequently conducted. However, active steps on the part of the authorities such as the revision of the rules of the organisation of paramilitary security in private enterprises have not been taken.
Nonetheless, it is probable that the described cases of unprofessional conduct of the security guards in shopping centers and stores can be used as an excuse by the authorities. The ongoing reform of the state apparatus includes significant staff reduction (by 20 % in accordance with the unofficial data) in a number of state agencies, including the Ministry of the Interior. In this case, public disclosure of the facts of unprofessional conduct of the security guards can be used as an excuse to conduct forced ‘professionalisation’ of the area of private paramilitary security services in the Republic of Belarus including recruitment of former employees of the Ministry of the Interior.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.