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
Last week, Belarusian Foreign Minister Makei participated in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Eastern Partnership and Visegrad Group initiative hosted by Warsaw. The Belarusian FM emphasized Belarus' interest in cooperation in the transport sector, which could be due to Belarus’ desire to export electricity surplus after Belarus finished construction of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. Minsk expressed concerns about Warsaw’s stance on the Belarusian NPP, as it refused to buy electricity from Belarus and supported Vilnius’ protest on this issue. Following accusations by the Belarusian leadership and the state media against western states, including Poland, of training "nationalist militants", Minsk did not agree on the visit of the European Parliament deputies from Lithuania and Germany to Belarus and to the NPP construction site near Ostrovets in particular. In addition, the Belarusian authorities have stepped up efforts to enforce education in Russian in Polish-language schools in Grodno and Vaukavysk. Should a rift in Belarusian-Polish relations persist, the Belarusian authorities are likely to step up the pressure on the Polish-speaking minority in Belarus.