Alexei Strelsky, a member of the REP Trade Union, had worked for the Open Join-Stock Company (OJSC) "Minsk Gear Factory"; but in May 2017, he received a work injury there. On that day, he volunteered to help in repairing a press, but the slide plate of the press dropped down and severely injured his right hand, causing multiple fractures. The act about the industrial accident established 80% of employer's guilt and 20% of the worker's fault. Alexei Strelsky lost 60% of his labour capacity; in fact, his hand in inactive and he cannot serve himself; he suffers from daily pains and is waiting for another surgery to remove the protruding part of his hand. The "Minsk Gear Factory" paid financial help to the victim of ... BYN 30 (a bit more than 12 euros). How has this become possible?
Igor Komlik, a lawyer and one of REP leaders, who defends Alexei's interests, explains:
"The General Agreement, concluded by the government, trade unions and employers, has a provision for payment of help to workers in case of an industrial injury. However, this norm is a recommendation; and employers fail to include it into collective agreement signed at factories with official trade unions, which don't insist. The General Agreement recommends to pay a monthly average salary for every percent of lost health' in our case, it is 60 salaries. Instead, factory bosses have paid just BYN 30 to Alexei. But Minsk gear factory instead of 60 average monthly salaries paid the injured worker 30 roubles – there is no provision in the factory collective agreement – and there's no employer's responsibility. This practice has sad consequences: if in the first half of 2017, 58 workers perished in Belarus, and 276 others were injured; in the first half of this year, the figures were 70 and 343, respectively."
Alexei Strelsky went to the Partizansky District Court of Minsk claiming the due compensation; however, the court denied the lawsuit. An official from the Belarusian Ministry of Industry was invited to the trial and confirmed that the norms of the General Agreement do not apply to the Minsk Gear Factory.
The injured worker filed a repeated lawsuit to the same court claiming a compensation of BYN 200,000 for his physical and moral sufferings. The court ruled to collect BYN 2000 from the employer. Alexei is not satisfied: he needs a long rehabilitation with unpredictable outcomes; besides, he needs to maintain his two minor children. Now, with the help of the REP's lawyer, he has appealed to the Minsk City Court with a demand to increase the compensation amount.