Withdrawal from official trade union at ‘BelWest’ shoes factory
The reason for the mass withdrawal of the factory workers from the official trade union is that the factory administration is trying to compensate a loss (which was registered as a result of August revision) at the expense of their wages. The revision found that 180 pairs of shoes were missing. The administration decided to exact money from the workers’ wages in order to cover the loss.By now 18 workers have already left the trade union.
‘The revision found that 180 pairs of shoes were missing’, says the head of workshop #4 V.Shliakhtsin. ‘However, we weren’t informed neither about the total sum of the loss, nor about which shoes were missing: children’s, men’s or women’s. The administration made almost all workers hostages of this situation: the people were ordered to ‘voluntary’ give away from 15 000 to 100 000 rubles. ($7-45). The sums are different, and nobody can explain what were the accountants guided by in their calculations. This money equals to a worker’s wage for 1-2 days.
Viktar Shliakhtsin also said that on 30 September there was held a joint assembly of the enterprise administration and the trade-union. The people who decided to withdraw from the trade union were also invited, but the administration did not manage to persuade them to make ‘voluntary donations’. After the official assembly all dissatisfied workers gathered for another assembly and decided to initiate creation of a unit of independent trade union at the factory.