Belarusian sole traders on strike protesting against Customs Union
Belarusian sole traders have a national strike today.
A decision to hold the strike was taken by the Forum of Sole Traders devoted to the entry into force of the technical regulations of the Customs Union “On safety of light industry”. The event took place in Minsk on June 24.
“It is a one-day preventive strike. Sole traders will not work protesting against the decision of the Customs Union on the technical regulations and its impossible requirements,” leader of the public association Perspective Anatoly Shumchanka told charter97.org.
He says sole traders plan to visit the department of small business of the Ministry of Economy and hand in their demands in the presence of journalists.
“We want department head Aliaksandr Hruzdou to start negotiations on postponing the entry into force of the technical regulations,” Anatoly Shumchanka said.
According to him, sole traders of Minsk, all regional centres and big towns (Barysau, Zhlobin, Pinsk, Slonim, Baranavichy, etc) confirmed they would join the strike.
“Sellers at the market are very excited, because they will not be able to work under the new rules that take force on July 1. The authorities should turn attention to this fact and raise the question of cancelling the technical regulations,” Anatoly Shumchanka said.
He reminded that sole traders were ready to collect signatures for Belarus's withdrawal from the Customs Union.
The technical regulations “On safety of light industry” require documentary proof of the quality of goods including those imported to Belarus from Russia, though it is the common customs area. To receive the necessary documents, one needs to provide documentary evidence of the Russian certification of quality or give a part of goods for a special examination.
The technical regulations were to take force on January 1, 2013, but this decision was postponed due to last year's wave of discontent. The new rules are expected to come into force on Jule 1.