Updated at 18:07,08-09-2017

Belshina plant stops working

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The tyre plant in Babruisk, Belshina, stopped working on March 26.

It was said by Artur Mikhalap, the chairman of the primary trade union organisation at Belshina plant, belnp.org reports.

The plant has been stopped completely. I don't know the reason, but I think it is the same that at other plants the absence of sales markets. We have overstock, he said.

According to Artur Mikhalap, the plant won't work for five days until April 1. A part of staff members was sent to affiliated companies, some work for two-thirds of the salary and clean the territory of the plant.

The situation is rather sad, the trade union leader notes.

Belarus's leading automobile manufacturer, the Minsk Automobile Plant, was reported to have stopped its main conveyor since March 27. The plant won't work until April 6.

Similar problems may hit the entire automobile sector.

Aliaksandr Yarashuk, the head of the Belarusian Democratic Trade Union Congress, wrote a letter to Belarusian PM Andrei Kabiakou and called on the government to demonstrate its professionalism and responsibility that would allow tackling the crisis and laying the foundation for the new economic policy able to lead Belarus to prosperity and ensure decent work and decent wages for workers.

I think the government cannot just wait for problems to disappear without its interference, for the Russian market to revive, as it was before, and for our products to be in demand again, he wrote in the letter. We should not let things drift and make the processes of the release of labour and job cuts, which we observe now, uncontrolled. The government must immediately start working on the state programme of employment, staff training and new jobs.

Yarashuk says the Congress is ready to put forward proposals to the government and participate in consultations and discussions of the crisis to find the way out.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka recently raised concerns about the situation at companies of the Ministry of Industry. He said on March 6 in response to a report by the minister of industry on the situation in the sector, problems and solutions that of all branches where the situation was unfavourable he was most of all concerned about the Industry Ministry.

According to Lukashenka, the companies of this agency account for one fifth of Belarus's industrial output, more than a half of products is exported. These companies have been recently lagging behind and slowing down the entire Belarusian economy, he noted.

He said he had had a principled discussion of the modern economic development trends at a session on topical issues of the social and economic development. We agreed that we will eradicate red tape, make necessary decisions and ensure their fulfillment, he said.

We do not need talks about the difficult situation today and about what you are going to do the day after tomorrow. I need concrete results, Aliaksandr Lukashenka stressed.

Belarusian prime minister Andrei Kabiakou said as he visited plants in Minsk that problems in the industrial area affect the growth of the country's economy.

He emphasised that plants should get rid of old methods to be competitive and produce goods for foreign markets. He called to give up the principle pay and take your goods. We must get rid of this approach, the prime minister stressed. We must offer to buy our products. Let's see what people need and produce it.