MAZ workers: Many people dissatisfied with situation at plant
9:19, — society
Belarus's biggest truck manufacturer has to go on holidays.
Salidarnasts asks workers if they are happy to have longer holidays.
Only few people can be seen at the checkpoint at the end of the shift. Rare passers-by, the honours board and trucks on pedestals, this is what one can see near the plant. The parking lot is full of cars. Windows of the administrative building are decorated with paper.
The shift ends at 15:30. For the next 30 minutes, a crowd of people goes from the checkpoint to bus stops and a metro station.
Workers of the Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) don't want to talk to journalists. Asked what they think about four-day working weeks and the “holidays”, many smile guiltily as if saying “you understand that I cannot say”. A group of women wave to the camera, but the expression of their faces changes as they hear the question. They answer everything is fine at the plant.
“It's like holidays. People need to rest. But the order hasn't been signed yet. All are happy,” the women say.
The next worker says with a tired smile the situation was bad:
“Of course, it's awful. But what can be do? We'll lose our salaries, someone will lose 1 million, someone two million. We received New Year's presents today, but it doesn't help.”
“It's very bad,” a smoking man says. “Many people are dissatisfied with the situation.”
A woman comes closer and warns him:
“Don't tell them anything. They will publish it.”
Young men smile and say they came to the plant recently, but they don't plan to work here for a long time.
“Salaries are low, but they gave presents. We won't make a career here. We'll see how it will develop after the New Year's Day.”
A women wearing a working coat asks for a cigarette, listens to the question and anwers the things are bad.
“We have been working four days a week since November. They will stop the core production and will pay 2/3 of the salary. What should we do? I wear the working coat, because I don't have money to buy a normal one.”
The crowd of people decreases. Some go to the parking lot, some go to the nearest ATM and then to yards to have a dose of alcohol with co-workers. Local pensioners say it's as normal as snow in winter.
Tens of trucks can be seen through the high fence around MAZ. Another group of about 40 trucks – the result of work of thousands of people – stands between the parking to and the plant's fence in Kabushkin Street.
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