Strikes staged according to previous scenario
The authorities have found and effectively use the method of social discontent repayment: comply with the workers and increase wages. With this, enterprise management prevents self-organization of workers in independent trade unions, exerting point pressure on the activists.
According to independent media, workers of one of the assembly sites of the Borisov Plant of Automobile and Tractor Electrical Equipment stopped work for a few hours and demanded higher wages on February 13. The company’s management has promised to increase salaries by 20% on February 16.
Short-term workers’ strikes in 2012 did not differ from the strikes of autumn 2011. Observations show that the workers begin to protest, if the salary is at BYR 1.2 million and below, and the beginning of strikes coincides with the days of salary payments or prepayments. For its part, the authorities are going to meet the protesters and raise wages by 15-20%.
In this case, the authorities carefully monitor the self-organization of workers in independent trade unions and seek to prevent such attempts. Since February 16, the leader of independent trade union cell, established in 2011 at the enterprise \"Granit\", O. Stahaevich was fired, and the formation of the union of the cell stopped at the stage of obtaining a legal address.
However, a strike at such a large enterprise, as BATE, means that the authorities are not coping with the monitoring of the situation with salaries in the industry. According to the information in the independent media that is not confirmed officially, enterprises \"Atlant\" in Baranovichi, as well as \"Polesie\" in Pinsk are in pre-strike conditions because of low wages
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.