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Belarus industries go on mass strikes: Workers' demands and protests scale

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

August 11, enterprises and workers began to go on indefinite strikes all over Belarus. Workers in the transport, trade, banking, and IT sectors are on strike. On August13, the strikes became widespread
11:23, 14 August 2020

NEXTA

Demands of the strike partakers

The strikes began on August 11, the requirements of the enterprises were different: some workers simply came out to support the protests against Alexander Lukashenko or show solidarity with colleagues at other factories without clear demands.

Opposition Telegram channels in Belarus are actively urging people to participate in the national strike and not go to work from today, NEXTA reports.

Related: Kyiv holds another rally in support of Belarusian protesters

Primary requirements:

  • recognition of Svetlana Tikhanouskaya as the new President of the Republic of Belarus;
  • the release of all political prisoners;
  • holding new fair elections.

The message states that a strike is a legal form of protest, prescribed in the Constitution. They cannot be detained for it, and it is impossible to fire everyone.

(!) Updated as of August 13

Workers of large enterprises are on strike: the Minsk Electrotechnical Plant, the Institute of Chemistry of New Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Minsk Margarine Plant.

Minsk

TYT.BY

- Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) employees today chanted at the meeting: "Leave, leave, leave!" After meeting with the leadership, they dispersed to the shouts of "Long live Belarus!" On August 14, they intend to gather again, Tut.by reports.

Related: European Parliament threatens Belarus with sanctions, demands to stop repressions

Here is a video of the strike:

- The Minsk Tractor Works joined the strike. The workers of the enterprise gathered to discuss the situation in the country and put forward their demands:

  • release all those detained at peaceful protests;
  • remove OMON special forces from the streets;
  • conduct fair re-elections with the presence of international observers.

- The railroad workers took part in the action of solidarity, they were holding flowers and signs with the inscription “Belarusian Railway against violence”.

- The IT company Rozum Robotics has begun an indefinite strike. Founder and CEO of Rozum Robotics Viktor Khamenok confirmed this fact.

Related: Why Belarus is not Ukraine

- Employees of Belenergosetproekt cannot agree on a strike with the management, which asks not to involve production processes in politics and to express their position outside of working hours.

The collective passed a letter to the chairman of the Belarusian Trade Union of Energy Workers with demands. If no response is given within 24 hours, the workers plan to leave the union.

- About 50 people held a solidarity action at the Belarus largest construction enterprise – Minsk Industrial House Building Lease Enterprise, they lined up in a human chain along the road.

Related: Belarus: Third fatality among protesters confirmed

Zhodino

- One of the world's largest manufacturer of quarry equipment, the Belarusian Automobile Plant (BelAZ). Here, employees suspended work and marched through the territory of the enterprise.

TYT.BY

The workers left the workshops and went to the central entrance, where they chanted "Go away!" and "Long Live Belarus!" The residents of Zhodino also came to the plant, some lined up in a chain on the road near the enterprise, and passing motorists started honking, Tut.by reports.

Telegram channels reported that a strike was staged at the plant, but the press service of BelAZ said that this was a meeting of workers with management.

TYT.BY

The city mayor, Dmitry Zablotsky, came to the square and promised to talk to the residents of the city on the square without riot police. He kept his word, and a lot of people came out to the square.

At the meeting, the workers demanded that OMON special forces, which had appeared in the city amid protests, be removed from Zhodino. They claim that riot police detained several employees of the enterprise (according to the BelAZ management, two were detained). The workers opposed the allocation of BelAZ buses to the police to transport the detainees.

Related: Ukraine's ombudsman asks UN, OSCE to assist in protection of Ukrainians in Belarus

Grodno

- At the meeting of the Grodno Azot collective workers expressed their disagreement with the election results, reform.by informs. Employees of the enterprise said they did not recognize the election results and were also preparing to go on strike. Every day they plan to increase the strike time by an hour.

TYT.BY

- The workers of Grodnopromstroy (construction industry) also joined the action of solidarity, Vecherny Grodno reports. More than 3,000 people demand not to detain citizens, to release the detainees.

TYT.BY

- After the morning planning meeting at Grodnozhilstroy JSC (construction industry), 200 or 300 people did not go to work. They sent an appeal to the Grodno regional executive committee with an appeal to stop the persecution of citizens and the use of weapons against the defenseless.

Related: Another Ukrainian detained in Belarus, - Consulate

- Employees of the Terrazit Plus company announced an indefinite strike today (more than 130 people).

- At the enterprise Khimvolokno there was a meeting between the mayor and the head of the regional executive committee's department of internal affairs with the staff of the enterprise.

-Belkard employees have also expressed requirements.

- An indefinite strike was announced by the VIRPIL Controls Grodno company and their factory for the production of control systems and accessories for aircraft and space simulators (joysticks). According to CEO of the company Andrey Lukyanov, 135 people did not go to work.

Related: Russia promises to settle issue of Wagner mercenaries release with Belarus

How strikes began in different cities

On Tuesday, the Minsk Electrotechnical Plant named after I. Kozlov went on strike. The loudest strike took place here, there were arrests by riot police. The workers responded to the call for an all-Belarusian strike and gathered in the yard of the enterprise. Some other people began to approach the building of the plant to support the protesters.

Social media

As reported by Tut.by, the plant's employees demanded from the management to apply to the administration of Alexander Lukashenko with a demand to restore the Internet and stop "unreasonably harsh detentions."

Judging by the video from the action, several hundred people took part in the meeting. The director of the plant came out to the people and threatened that the strikers might be left without wages.

The rally did not last long - police vehicles with security forces drove up to the building and began a sweep. The riot police dispersed the people who had come to support the protesters, reports Euroradio. According to the newspaper, at least two people were detained. Some also got into their cars and drove away, but they were chased by people in civilian clothes.

- Belenergosetproekt. During the lunch break, employees of the enterprise came out into the street and shouted "Long live Belarus!" The workers of the enterprise did not put forward demands related to working conditions, all this is connected with the situation in the country. After that, they went to the plant named after Kozlov.

Related: Roadblocks, more clashes and mass firing of journalists: Fourth day of protests in Belarus

Social media

- The Minsk margarine plant stopped, people massively left the work. At the same time, Belta state agency reports that it is a fake, ensuring that all employees were in their places, and people with photos and videos allegedly do not work at the enterprise.

Минский маргариновый завод from Charter Vimeo on Vimeo.

- Integral Plant of semiconductor devices. Some workers began to strike here too.

- Institute of Powder Metallurgy. Here about two dozen employees quit their jobs in protest against election fraud.

- Columns of striking workers walked around Minsk today, they moved to support colleagues at other factories. Thus, the employees of Belenergotekhproekt supported the all-Belarusian strike and went to support colleagues from the Electromechanical Plant.

- Columns of strikers were honked by cars and applauded by passers-by. Employees of the Institute of Chemistry of New Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus went out into the street next to the Institute and clap their hands. The drivers supported the strikers.

- Drivers of the 4th trolleybus fleet of Minsktrans refuse to go to work on the second shift after being informed about the injury of the bus driver.

Related: Ukraine demands that Belarus provides information about detained Ukrainians

Zhlobin

- Belarusian Metallurgical Plant (BMZ). Several workshops here yesterday stopped working (pipe rolling and rope departments). This plant was the first to go on strike. The striking workers put forward political demands: release of political prisoners in the country and hold free presidential elections.

After the start of the strike, paddy wagons and a bus with riot police arrived at the plant. Euroradio reports that 60 people have been detained. After negotiations with the management of BMZ, all workshops continued to work as usual. All willing workers will sign a demand for fair elections, which will be sent to Minsk.

Screenshot

Grodno

- Grodno Azot did not recognize the election results and joined the strike, making public its demands.

At the same time, the management of Grodno Azot denied the information that two workshops were on strike at the enterprise.

- Workers of Belshyna tyre manufacturer in Bobruisk started a strike.

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