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9.04.2014

Belaruskali pensioners ready for protests  ? 36

7:57, — Society

Belaruskali pensioners ready for protests

Pensioners of Belaruskali company want better conditions for elderly people.

They are ready to protest if the authorities reject their proposals on taking measures to improve the state of pensioners in society and their financial level. The decision was taken at the meeting of pensioners of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Belaruskali, camarade.biz reports.

The trade union organisation of pensioners already appealed last year to the government and Yauheny Abalenski, an MP of the Salihorsk constituency, asking to raise pensions to the level of 50% of the average salary.

Nothing changed after the proposal. The officials sent standard replies. Pensioners were prohibited to hold a picket in Minsk against declining living standards.

Mikalai Novik, a former chairman of the independent trade union, is an active member of the pensioners' organisation. He said at the meeting that the state didn't care about the people, who had given their health, forces and many years to the state company, and lived in poverty today.

The price growth last year was 53%, but pensions were increased only 15%. Prices continue to increase this year. The latest increase was on April 1, when meat prices and public transport fees were raised.

The authorities did not allow the pensioners to hold a picket. We have to organise protest pickets without official permission, he concluded.

Pensioners supported the ex-leader of the independent trade union and agreed to send proposals on improving living standards of pensioners to the relative government bodies. The pensioners are ready to protest if the officials fail to give a positive answer.

We are too passive, both workers and pensioners, Mikalai Novik said. We don't put much effort to improve our life. It's the reason why the state ignores us and our basic needs. We need to stand together to decisively protect our rights and demand decent salaries and pensions. We should make the authorities respect us. It's time to understand that the state will never do anything good for us until we demand it.

Pensioner Valery Harbatsevich, a former miner, thinks pensions are too small for a decent life.

Miners with many years of experience have a pension of 4 or 5 million rubles, he says. It's a very modest life with our prices, especially if one has to buy medicines. What pensions those working at the surface or in the public sector have? They are often significantly lower. People don't live, they try to survive buying only the most necessary things.


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