Updated at 18:18,16-07-2018

Medics sent to farms to collect beets and carrots

Vital Ruhain, Euroradio

Unlike workers and students, hospital staff are harvesting for free.

"Mother and her colleagues at work in the clinic are being driven to the farm to collect beet," says a message on the social network. And it is very surprising, because everyone has heard of students collecting potatoes, but similar news about medical staff is something new.

Also, just a week ago Alyaksandr Lukashenka, answering journalists' questions, focused on the fact that there too many rural workers!

In many collective farms we have a problem of excess workforce.

Here we see people (doctors!)being sent to help in the fight for the harvest. Moreover, unlike the students, they are helping free of charge.

"We get a message from the executive committee, usually from the Department of Agriculture. It says: you need to ensure that the personnel assists in cleaning up," staff at Bykhau region hospital explained with a smile. They usually ask for 8-15 people. It is nurses who go to harvest beets.

In Makransky agricultural cooperative we are told that people are collected by the executive committee, they work for free, because it is "help".

This year we helped gathering carrots. Department of Agriculture, our hospital, employees of Byhausky region state institutions, a drying plant sent employees. We say that we are not coping on our own, and so for a few years they have helped us harvest. You must understand that the field team is much smaller than the field that we crop.

It turns out that all the employees of the company are there, but they are still not enough, but they cannot hire more.

We cannot hire more staff than we are supposed to have, cooperative staff explains. We cannot hire 500 people in the field team, because we shouldn't be more than 300 overall.

To avoid losing the yield, employees of the executive committee are also helping the cooperative. They go there for free, mostly on week-ends.

"You have to understand their volumes," staff at Bykhau executive committee explains. "They annually plant 60-70 hectares of vegetables such as cabbage, onions, beets. We do not have the machines as such, so we have to attract people."

Before, they used to gather pupils and students, now only members of organizations. Why not hire more people to work at the farm?

"You understand that we need to provide some kind of payment. If the school sends us pupils, we need to pay back with products or something," executive committee staff told us. Because students, unlike doctors and officials, do not work for free.

If this problem was only in one farm, one would think that this is just an exception to the beautiful picture. But when I called random farm from a different area of the country, I heard the same answer: we appeal to the executive committee, and they help us. Why not hire more people?

And who will go? We provide accommodation, but no one comes. Here it is necessary to work.

You can refuse to provide this kind of assistance, Syarhei Zikratsky, a lawyer specializing in labor law, explains.

If there is no order, and it is not part of the official duties, we can not go. Making do not have rights.

But usually none of the workers refuse, and thus it cannot be considered a violation of the law, because they go there "voluntarily".