Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Employees of glass fiber company refuse to pay fees


About 100 employees of AAT Polatsk-Shklovalakno, a glass fiber maker in Polatsk, Vitsyebsk region, have refused to pay membership fees to the pro-government trade union organization at the company, reported the press office of the Belarusian Free Trade Union.

The workers are unhappy with their low wages and the failure of the grassroots chapter of the Belarusian Union of Chemical, Mining and Oil Industry Workers (Belkhimprafsayuz) to solve numerous problems, the press office said.

Some people have refused to do any work unless their wages are raised, the report said.

Natallya Murashka, chairwoman of the trade union organization, now meets with protesters and tells them that if they quit the organization, they will not receive bonuses when they go on a leave, the press office said.

This would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement, which applies to all members of the staff of Polatsk-Shklovalakno, the press office noted.

In an interview with BelaPAN, Svyatlana Klachko, chairwoman of Belkhimprafsayuz, said that only about 35 employees of Polatsk-Shklovalakno had refused to pay membership fees, and that some of them had already changed their mind.

"They complained about problems that are a result of the reform of the pension system in 2009," Ms. Klachko said. "We're now trying to solve them."

Since late 2011, hundreds of employees of industrial companies have quit their local chapters of trade unions affiliated with the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus because of their low wages and the Federation's poor performance.