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27 October 2020, 15:25

Belarus PM views calls for strikes as calls to harm the country and its people

MINSK, 27 October (BelTA) - Calls for strikes are nothing but direct calls to harm the country and its people, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko told the media on 27 October, BelTA has learned.

“Over the past two days, the situation at the enterprises has remained calm. The plan, which was widely announced [calls for a nationwide strike], failed. Such things could not have succeeded in Belarus. People want to work, earn money, implement the plans they have. They want to provide for their families. The situation is absolutely calm,” the prime minister said.

Roman Golovchenko noted that he does not exaggerate the danger of such calls. He addressed those who called for strikes: “These are direct calls to harm the country and people who live and work in this country. After all, a call to stop the enterprise is nothing but an attempt to clear space for our competitors,” he said.

The head of government stressed that the Belarusian economy is open and that domestic producers are in constant competition to sell its products abroad, be it oil products, potash fertilizers, engineering products or food. “Any production stoppage benefits our competitors. If we stop, let us say, the production of oil products (these are spot transactions), we lose money, and all the company's personnel lose bonuses for their work. It will be much more difficult to return to this market,” Roman Golovchenko said.

He cited the potash industry as another example. When several ore units stopped for one night in August, Belaruskali's competitors abroad were very happy about the fact.

“The country's economy is operating under difficult conditions due to the global economic crisis. It, however, continues working and is not going to stop,” the prime minister said.

He also drew attention to one more important aspect such as an attempt to increase tensions at enterprises where an unplanned stop can lead to dangerous consequences for people's lives and health. “There were talks to halt Grodno Azot first, then something else. I would like to say this both for the residents of Grodno Oblast and the whole country: it is a hazardous production facility, any interference in the technological process, including its unscheduled shutdown, is a threat of a man-made disaster. Whether it is Grodno Azot, or Mogilevkhimvolokno. We have enough of such production facilities. What are you calling for? Do you want the regional city to face a disaster that can happen because of some crazy ideas?” Roman Golovchenko asked a rhetorical question. “Of course, if such things happen at enterprises that are associated with hazardous production, with a threat to safety and the environment, they will be suppressed in accordance with the law,” he added.

The prime minister mentioned the recent attempts to sabotage the railroad. “How else can we assess the actions to force the automatic system on the rail out of order? What is this as not a threat to people's lives? Are we being declared a rail war? The state will provide the relevant response, according to the law,” he said.

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