"Granit" workers are blackmailed by means of new "BelAZ" trucks
The activists of the independent trade union of the "Granit" enterprise, who work as trucks drivers, face an alternative, offered by their bosses Ц either to remain union members or quit it and receive new "BelAZ" trucks.
This was reported by Radio Liberty (Belarusian Edition) with reference to a driver named Vasily, who told the following story. Vasily, who has been working as a "BelAZ" driver for decades, was invited "for a talk" to Alexander Kislyuk, the head of the transport fleet, who moved the following proposal:
"My team with whom I work will receive a new 'BelAZ' truck, but I'll have to drive the old one. If I remain a member of the independent union, I'll have no promotion and get the worst teammates. Or, if I quit the union, everything will be fine, and I'll be in 'normal ranks', as I was told."
The worker said that initially the whole his team consisting of 4 persons was threatened not to receive a new truck whatsoever. In this way, as Vasily said, they wanted to quarrel him with his colleagues, with whom he had worked together for many years.
"You should understand that your wages depend on the equipment you operate. A new 'BelAZ' dumper has higher tonnage; and the work on it is paid higher. Besides, the working conditions are much better. At first we thought that it was a joke, because how could they do it only because of trade union membership. But then the boss and the foreman said that we should not even hope to receive the new equipment," said Vasily.
According to Oleg Stakhaevich, the chairman of the primary independent trade union organization at the "Granit", by using this sort of blackmail the administration managed to return several drivers to the official trade union Ц a subject of the FPB (Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus). Oleg said that the factory bosses often seek to confront the interests of an independent trade union activist with the other drivers of his crew.
"Doing this with the workers, who have proven their best by working for many years without any remarks Ц it's just disgusting and despicable. People have families and children Ц the future of Mikashevichi. Our bosses are just blackmailing these people. This is an obvious discrimination based on the belonging to a union. They do everything, even the meanest things, just to achieve the goal downloaded from the top Ц to liquidate the independent trade union at the 'Granite'."