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Mass layoffs at Belshina plant  ? 67

15:52, — Society

Mass layoffs at Belshina plant

Belshina tyre plant began to lay off workers.

Activists of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU), including head of the primary trade union organisation Artur Mikhalan, were dismissed, the BITU's press service reports.

As many as 138 workers were laid off in my shop. More than half of them left the plant. Managers explain it by modernisation. New equipment was installed, a part the old equipment was removed and a part was given to other units. Earlier, four first stage machines and two second stage machines were needed to produce 100 tyres. With the new equipment, two workers can produce 200 tyres per shift, he says.

According to the head of the primary trade union organisation, the workers, who were put on the layoff list, were given the following options. You can be laid off due to substantial changes in working conditions. You sign a new contract and move to another unit with a lower salary losing all your preferences . If you don't want to be laid off, the employment contract will be terminated in three months and a two-week allowance will be paid. Or you can quit and receive the normal severance pay.

Young workers chose to quit. Six persons in my shift, including me, quit. There's no sense in working at the plant after salaries have fallen. We put up with a salary of 5 or 6 million working at weekends and on public holidays, but people were offered to go to other units as mechanics, cleaners and lift truck drivers for 3-4 million. Mostly pensioners or workers of pre-retirement age remain at the plant. If experienced workers were offered to work on new equipment, we would demand bonuses for harmful conditions and so on. But they employed unexperienced staff. We asked the senior managers about it at meetings, but they didn't answer, Artur says.

Mikhail Ustinovich, the deputy head of the primary trade union organisation, has been working at the plant for decades. He thinks it's reckless behaviour.

They always lay off workers for the time I have been working here. They scare workers with layoffs. Firstly, I want to ask managers why they employ so many people to lay them off later. Secondly, the deputy director responsible for ideology receives about 30 million rubles, but a worker with soot in his eyes has only 5-6 million, he says.

Prime minister Mikhail Miasnikovich said last August that Belshina would lay off one third of its employees.

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