Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

BMZ Strikers Imprisoned For 2,5 And 3 Years For Stoves Downtime In August

Belarusfeed

BMZ Strikers Imprisoned For 2,5 And 3 Years For Stoves Downtime In August
Photo for illustrative purposes
Zhlobin district court passed a verdict in the case of a strike at BMZ in August 2020. One of the accused was sentenced to three years in prison, two others got 2,5 years. Earlier, the accused compensated the enterprise for material damage BYN 1,088 [~$400/€340].

According to the BMZ employees of the enterprise who were present at the meeting, the prosecutor asked for the defendants, Igor Povarov, Alexander Bobrov and Yevgeny Govor three years in prison. Initially, a criminal case was initiated against four employees of BMZ, but Pavel Magidov went abroad and is currently on the wanted list.

The prosecution insists that on 17 August 2020, these four workers together with “other unidentified persons” were on the territory of BMZ and “organized illegal group actions that grossly violate public order and involve obvious disobedience to the legitimate requirements of representatives of the authority.” As a result, the technological transport, which delivers raw materials to the steel-making shops, was stopped, due to which steel smelting was suspended at the electric arc furnaces. The damage incurred by the enterprise was 1,088 rubles 29 kopecks.

Recall that the trial in the case of the strike at BMZ began last December. Before leaving Belarus, Pavel Magidov, a 6th-grade steel caster, who worked at BMZ for 20 years talked to TUT.BY journalist. He is a citizen of Russia, has lived in Belarus since 1998 and has a residence permit, therefore “he is a little limited in rights and, in theory, has no right to participate in anything”.

Zhlobin district court passed a verdict in the case of a strike at BMZ in August 2020. One of the accused was sentenced to three years in prison, two others got 2,5 years. Earlier, the accused compensated the enterprise for material damage BYN 1,088 [~$400/€340].

According to the BMZ employees of the enterprise who were present at the meeting, the prosecutor asked for the defendants, Igor Povarov, Alexander Bobrov and Yevgeny Govor three years in prison. Initially, a criminal case was initiated against four employees of BMZ, but Pavel Magidov went abroad and is currently on the wanted list.

The prosecution insists that on 17 August 2020, these four workers together with “other unidentified persons” were on the territory of BMZ and “organized illegal group actions that grossly violate public order and involve obvious disobedience to the legitimate requirements of representatives of the authority.” As a result, the technological transport, which delivers raw materials to the steel-making shops, was stopped, due to which steel smelting was suspended at the electric arc furnaces. The damage incurred by the enterprise was 1,088 rubles 29 kopecks.

Recall that the trial in the case of the strike at BMZ began last December. Before leaving Belarus, Pavel Magidov, a 6th-grade steel caster, who worked at BMZ for 20 years talked to TUT.BY journalist. He is a citizen of Russia, has lived in Belarus since 1998 and has a residence permit, therefore “he is a little limited in rights and, in theory, has no right to participate in anything”.

“For me, it all started on August 10, when my minor son, at that time he was only 14, was walking with a friend in the city centre at five o’clock in the afternoon. They walked down the street, two minibuses and a gazelle drove up, started to detain people, including my son and a friend. They were detained, their hands were tied and dragged them face down on the ground. At the same time, it was later confirmed that they did not shout anything, they did not break the windows.

Late in the evening, the son was given without any documents to the mother of the child – my ex-wife. Naturally, it got me all boiled up. On 17 August, I was on sick leave, but I knew that there would be a meeting with the management about the strike at the plant. Therefore, on the way from the reception, I decided to stop and listen to what they would say. It was just babbling. I am a calm person, but I was outraged that the leadership did not take us seriously. They looked with a condescending smile, while people were trying to express their pain.”

At some point, said Pavel, he “could not bear it and said loudly what needs to be done.”


BMZ employees gathering at the plant on 17 August


“Then we went to the territory of the plant, some through a barrier, some used their passes. I entered with a pass. We went out on the road, stopped a scrap truck, thus causing three to four hours of stove downtime. But we did not stop the stoves themselves, the management did it. At the same time, there were four filling baskets in the workshop, there was still something to work with. We stood for some time and then decided that we had achieved our goal. The management assured that no one would be punished for this.”

Pavel says that when he blocked the road for special vehicles hoping that the leadership would start a dialogue with the team. “I just wanted to have a dialogue. Not a monologue, I wanted to talk as equals, not to have a conversation from a position of strength or authority,” he stressed.

After the events on 17 August, the plant operated as usual, there was no pressure on Pavel from the leadership. The criminal case was against him and his colleagues was opened on 2 November. Two days later, his apartment was searched and he was taken to the Investigative Committee. On 5 November, Pavel went abroad.