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
The Belarusian authorities regard the Catholic conference as yet another international event to promote Minsk as a global negotiating platform. Minsk’s proposal to organise a meeting between the Roman-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church is rather an image-making undertaking than a serious intention. However, the authorities could somewhat extend the opportunities for the Roman-Catholic Church in Belarus due to developing contacts with the Catholic world.
Minsk is attempting to lay out a mosaic from various international religious, political and sportive events to shape a positive image of Belarus for promoting the Helsinki 2.0 idea.
Belarus’ invitation to the head of the Holy See for a meeting with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church should be regarded as a continuation of her foreign policy efforts in shaping Minsk’s peacekeeping image and enhancing Belarus’ international weight. The Belarusian authorities are aware that their initiative is unlikely to find supporters among the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. In Russia, isolationist sentiments prevail.
In addition, for domestic audiences, the authorities make up for the lack of tangible economic growth with demonstrations of growth in Minsk’s authority at international level through providing a platform for religious, sportive and other dialogues.