Participants of the strike of sole traders call for solidarity.
Market traders stopped working, but cannot say for how long. They are waiting for an answer to their letter to Aliaksandr Lukashenka sent on June 6, after a preventive strike. They sent a new letter to him yesterday asking to urgently solve their problems.
Strikes were held across Belarus yesterday.
Vitebsk sole traders said on June 5 they would stop working on July 1. About 60% of them didn't open their stalls in an attempt to draw attention to their problems.
Markets, where people sent the letter to Lukashenka, were closed yesterday.
Only one woman decided to work at the Polatski market in Vitebsk. Her colleagues made a call to a tax office. Tax inspectors demand to make a list of the goods that were brought in the country before the decree on mandatory certification. Tax inspectors came and found violations. Market trader Larysa tells Radio Svaboda:
“No one was working, but one woman opened her stall, and we called tax inspectors. She did not have the necessary documents, but she said she wasn't afraid. Well, tell it to tax inspectors. They made a list of her goods and took them away in two minibuses. They may be confiscated. The most interesting thing is that tax inspectors do not know what to do with us. No one knows what to do.”
Market traders closed their stalls and wrote in notices on the doors “Holiday July 1 – July 31” or “Stocktaking”. They didn't give the direct reason, but the Vitebsk police are ready for protests and unrests: a car with riot police officers stands near every market.
Iryna Yaskevich, the coordinator of the organising committee to open the trade union of small businessmen Together, thinks sole traders should not work for 10 days waiting for an answer to their letter to Lukashenka.
They asked him about the remaining goods (this issue was solved already), the recognition of certificates of the Customs Union countries, if goods are imported from there, and taxes that became too high for market traders.
They haven't received an answer yet, so sole traders wrote another collective letter asking to urgently discuss the situation on the highest level and send them an answer.