As it became known, hidden layoffs have become more frequent at the largest potash enterprise in Belarus. It became known about dozens of cases of non-renewal or termination of contracts with employees of the enterprise's mining departments.
According to employees, the cuts affected the mines more than the ore enrichment plants. In order not to cause resentment in the team, contracts are not being extended selectively in different teams.
- Many workers are fired as a result of the medical examination, which they do not pass and they are taken out of the mine. If earlier they were offered a workplace without harmful factors, now they may not be offered anything at all, - says an employee of the enterprise.
Cases of non-renewal of short-term labor contracts have also increased, especially with former independent trade union activists or those who were seen in the 2020 protests. Earlier, the media reported that the KGB and employees of the security service of the enterprise had transferred to the personnel departments lists of employees of the potash enterprise with whom employment contracts should be terminated.
- It is difficult to say about the scale of reductions, since employees often keep silent about the facts of layoffs, but dozens of cases are now known, - our interlocutor noted.
The reduction in the number of the enterprise's workforce and the transfer of individual workshops to outsourcing has been carried out at Belaruskali for the past 6 years.
Employees believe that in this way, by reducing the number of teams and increasing the intensity of work for workers, the administration increases the profitability of the enterprise and, if necessary, will be ready to sell it. In addition, the situation was clearly affected by sanctions restrictions on the sale of the company's products.
Previously, workers united in an independent trade union could put forward demands from the administration, through a collective agreement to influence working conditions and wages. Today, there is one pocket trade union at the enterprise, which is led by the actually appointed former deputy general director Rybak. Now the Soligorsk enterprise is completely under the control of the general director Ivan Golovaty.
It is worth noting that personal sanctions imposed by the EU were extended against Golovaty in February 2023. However, Nasha Niva learned from diplomatic sources that Brazil and a number of African countries, with the support of some EU countries, are lobbying for the withdrawal from sanctions of persons controlling potash production. We are talking about the billionaire Gutseriev and Golovaty. The lobbyists' main argument is food security in Africa and South America.
At the moment, all deliveries of potash fertilizers from Belarus through European ports have been stopped. Belarusian fertilizers are sold through Russia under the guise of Russian ones, and also smuggled into the EU markets, but the volumes are much lower than before the sanctions. The sale of potash is a strategic niche for the Lukashenka regime and almost the only position of sanctions that cannot be bypassed today.