Together with the family members, the total number of the industrial proletariat of Belarus is one third of the country's population.
Social philosopher Vladimir Vasiliyev analyzed in detail the position and prospects of the working class in the neighboring republic in the current situation
On the position of the proletariat in Belarus
For comparison - today the share of the industrial proletariat in Belarus is almost an order of magnitude greater than the share that the proletariat in Russia was at the beginning of 1917, and is quite comparable to the share (approximately equal to the share) of the industrial proletariat in Germany in the early 1930s.
To date, there are no indefinite labor contracts in Belarus (#labor_relationships) - those were legally canceled during the rule of Lukashenko. Only a fixed-term employment contract for a period of 1 to 5 years can be concluded with every employee in Belarus.
But this is far from all and by no means the most important charms of "Lukashenko 's socialism" (#socialism_Lukashenko).
In Belarus, not a single employee has the right to quit his job without the consent of the administration of the enterprise.
In case of early termination of the employment contract on the initiative of the employee or on the initiative of the administration of the enterprise, the employee is obliged to return (pay) to the enterprise all bonuses and other incentive payments that were paid to him by the administration during the validity period of the early terminated employment contract in excess of those established on its terms of wages.
At the same time, wages are usually divided into "basic salary", slightly exceeding the official "living wage" and accounting for about half of the monthly wage, and "performance-based payments" in the form of bonuses and other incentive payments. This entire second half of the monthly wage is precisely subject to "return" in the event of early termination of the employment contract.
There is also a tax "on parasitism": if you cannot submit a certificate of official employment within 183 days, pay the tax.
The retirement age has been gradually increasing since 1 January 2017, now 58 for women and 63 for men. The retirement record of 20 years does not include either military service, vocational education, or parental leave, or all other periods when no pension contributions are paid for this employee, or all other "grace" periods, the remnants of which even in the Russian Federation are still available in the pension legislation.
If there is no work experience included in the retirement record, then either a “social pension” is assigned in the amount of approx. $ 45 per month ($ 1.5 per day is the poverty threshold in Africa, South Asia and Latin America, according to the definition of the World Bank), or keep working until you have the necessary work experience.
Former Soviet #trade unions, which were already in the USSR nothing more than driving belts of the "top" to hired workers, in Belarus in the 1990s were finally turned at every enterprise into departments of the republican state administration "for nurturing" proletarians and semi-proletarians.
The so-called #independent_trade unions, which began to emerge in the 1990s, were largely defeated. Their organizations are legally prohibited in enterprises.
Formal opportunities to create a new trade union are institutionally (legislatively and subordinate) so difficult that in practice the creation of a new trade union or its organization at an enterprise not entirely controlled by the state administration is impossible.
And although Belarus now has the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, it does not have its own cells at most enterprises, firstly, and where it does, it covers a smaller part of the proletarians and semi-proletarians, and secondly, being under severe pressure from the state, in -third.
After the head of trade unions of Belarus, Goncharik, was nominated as a presidential candidate in 2001, trade unions in Belarus very quickly lost the last remnants of opportunities for legal participation in political activity.
The current trade unions of Belarus do not have any political demands either to formulate, or, moreover, to publicly put forward and present to the state administration of Belarus or the administration of any enterprise.
Although Belarus has officially ratified international conventions that establish, secure and guarantee the right of hired workers to #strike for political reasons, “law enforcement officers” and “law enforcement officers” of Belarus, in practice, to this day “spat from a high bell tower” on all such and similar international obligations of Belarus, and now and even more so they spit with special cynicism.
The General Prosecutor's Office of Belarus has already officially stated that any participation of any employee in a strike (strike) or in any public event held during working hours will be qualified by it and by the courts of Belarus only as “absenteeism”, first of all, and a reason , sufficient for early termination of the employment contract, secondly.
#privatization_of enterprises in Belarus, which began in the 1990s, has not stopped and has not stopped until now.
Small and medium-sized enterprises for the most part have long been privatized, although many of them officially retain one or another share of state participation.
But also the largest and large industrial enterprises of Belarus, such as MAZ, BelAZ, MTZ, MZKT, Khimvolokno, AZOT, BMZ, METZ, Belaruskali and others, which are well-known and are the "visiting card" of the Belarusian industry, even formally are far from completely owned by the state...
Informally, each of the economically significant enterprises in Belarus is controlled and used in private interests by one or another specific clan (grouping) within the financial-capitalist corporation-state called the Republic of Belarus.
The so-called communist and socialist #party_Belarus is a complete, but only even more pitiful, analogue of the so-called communist parties and socialist parties of the Russian Federation.
In both of these fragments of the former USSR, the political parties of the "left wing" were, and remain, nothing more than the driving belts of the ruling class to the "shirnarmass".
On the attitude of the leaders of the "revolutionary movement" of Belarus to the proletariat
During the “non-violent color revolution” that began two weeks ago in Belarus, there were reports that one or another part of the workers of the largest enterprises of Belarus supported the speeches and demands of the “rebellious people”, not only joining the processions and other demonstrations in the streets, but and announcing the beginning of strikes (#strikes).
According to the Kommersant newspaper, the rallies were attended by workers of the Minsk Electrotechnical Plant, Belaruskali, MAZ, BelAZ, Minsk Tractor Plant, Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, and Belarusian Metallurgical Plant.
According to Pavel Stashevsky, a member of the Free Trade Union of Metalworkers of Belarus, representatives of the “labor collectives” of MAZ, Terrazit, BelAZ, the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society, Belmedpreparatov, Grodno Plant, Grodno-Azot, Grodnozhilstroy, Integral, Keramina, Lipsky Rynok take part in the meetings and processions MAPID ”, BMZ, METZ, RSPC, MF“ ZOV ”, Grodno Khimvolokno, Belaruskali, Naftan. And also the builders of BelAES, Pilimir, MZKT, MMZ, Belryba, HTP, TPP-4, 4th trolleybus park, Grodnopromstroy, MZOR, MEZ named after Kozlova, MES, MZSH, RUE Belenergosetproduct, Minsk Heating System, BelOMO, MZKT, Baranovichi Machine Tool Plant, Belorusneft, Orsha Tool Plant.
There were also reports about the spontaneous emergence of strike committees (#strike committees) at a number of large and largest enterprises in Belarus, including BelAZ, Khimvolokno, AZOT and others.
But what are the political demands of the strike committees?
As Stashevsky testifies, the requirements are different at different enterprises, often they are written on the knee, by hand, on a simple piece of paper.
However, the essence of all these requirements so far boils down to not recognizing the results of the presidential elections in Belarus, ending violence from law enforcement agencies, releasing political prisoners, and calling new presidential elections.
That is, all these are the demands of the Coordinating Council of the "rebellious people". The strike committees of Belarus have not announced any actual proletarian demands - no one knows anything about this until now.
At the same time, there are still no reports about the establishment and implementation of constant communication between the strike committees of enterprises. In the same way, there is no information about the spread of influence and representation of the strike committees on the majority of hired workers, even in their own enterprises.
On the contrary, there are reports of witnesses and participants in these processes in Belarus itself, as well as public figures of the Russian Federation belonging to the "opposition" and the conditional camp of "democrats" and "liberals" of the Russian Federation, about the absence in Belarus of not only such communication and coordination between strike committees, but and targeted efforts to organize and implement them.
Against this background, public representatives of this "insurgent people" of Belarus have already addressed with calls to workers and engineers of enterprises to support the "insurgent people" with a nationwide strike - from its "political symbol" (S. Tikhanovskaya) to the "head of staff Babariko", who also became the de facto leader. and the headquarters of Tikhanovskaya, and the public leader of the Coordination Council (M. Kolesnikova).
However, not a single representative of the strike committees and industrial proletariat of Belarus has been included in the Coordination Council of the “insurgent people” of Belarus.
#Coordination_Council declares that it will support financially and legally the workers on strike, for which the collection of financial resources and the recruiting of volunteers with a legal education and skills in human rights activities have already been organized.
But so far all such promises are addressed either to hired workers in general, or to representatives of the "power structures" and "structures of state administration", in particular. That is, these promises, if they are translated into a practical plane, are aimed at "seizing power and control", but by no means at "mobilizing" the proletarian and semi-proletarian masses into the members of the "revolutionary movement".
The Coordinating Council, its symbols and public representatives declare that its purpose as an organ of the “insurgent people” is to organize and conduct new “fair elections of the President of Belarus” . So far, all publicly declared demands and actually carried out actions are aimed precisely at achieving this goal and ensuring the social conditions necessary (assumed by it) for this.
The organization and conduct of such elections, if they take place, will take at least six months, or even a year, during which the families of proletarians and semi-proletarians of Belarus still have to live without starving to death.
However, in the statements and actions of the Coordinating Council, its members and representatives, there is nothing from which one can conclude how exactly this "body of the insurgent people" (the Coordination Council) will prevent a socio-economic catastrophe and organize the satisfaction of the daily vital needs of the masses in general and the proletarians of Belarus especially during this entire period.
Moreover, the personal composition and current activities of this Coordinating Council, insofar as it (this activity) is public, testifies that, firstly, they are terribly far from the proletarian and semi-proletarian masses of Belarus and, secondly, the interests for the time being these masses are "up to the lamp".
But even if , thirdly, someone makes them think about the absolute need to take into account also these interests of proletarians and semi-proletarians, then this cast of performers of the roles of bourgeois-democratic ideological and political leaders of the "rebellious people" is not capable of this either - perception and understanding proletarian interests are not available to these characters at all.
The bourgeoisie is now inevitably asked the proletariat of Belarus the question: who will win?
Speaking in Grodno at a rally of his supporters last Friday, Lukashenka ordered from Monday, August 24, to close all enterprises in the country, whose workers have started strikes.
In particular, Lukashenko noted that in the “labor collectives” in the country “not everything is unambiguous”, explaining that he personally “welcomes different moods”.
“But there are those”, Lukashenko continued, “who do not want to work, but want to strike... If someone does not want to work, do not force, don’t. We still will not force them and will not persuade them. The country will survive. But, if the enterprise is not working, from Monday - the lock on the gate, we will stop. People will cool down, we will figure out who to invite to this enterprise later".
This is a classic general lockout declaration. #lockout (English lock out , literally - to lock the door in front of someone / lock the door and not let in) - a temporary stop of work (or a significant reduction in production volumes) of the enterprise by the employer with the termination of salary payments, in order to put pressure on employees (analogue of a strike , but on the part of the employer, not the employees).
The extreme form of a lockout is collective dismissal at the initiative of the employer in connection with a labor dispute and the announcement of a strike, as well as the liquidation (reorganization) of an enterprise, representative office or branch.
At the same time, the leaders of the Coordinating Council even more persistently call on the proletarians and semi-proletarians of Belarus to a national strike, but they do not include any of the strike committees in the Constitutional Court, and they do not establish communication with the strike committees and between them.
Thus, the #class_alternative to_the_proletariat_of_Belarus, inevitably posed by the bourgeoisie for urgent resolution, is as follows:
1) Either the mass lockout announced by Lukashenko and practically implemented will push the industrial proletariat of Belarus to force self-organization into a class for itself .
From such self-organization of the proletariat into a class for itself and as such self-organization, if it takes place in Belarus, will inevitably and inevitably follow significant consequences for the development and radical change of the entire social situation not only in Belarus, but throughout the whole of Russia.
The internal and external bourgeoisie left the proletarian and semi-proletarian masses of Belarus no other way of life, except for this : the industrial proletariat of Belarus, apart from its chains, has something to lose now - the opportunity to live for itself, its children and grandchildren, not only in the distant (now invisible) future, but already quite obvious today, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.
The industry and agriculture of Belarus, even with approximately the same nomenclature and volumes of production and, therefore, employment of employees, are not needed by the corresponding units of the globally ruling class either in the European Union, or in the USA, or in China, or even in the Russian Federation.
In fact, these political actors need Belarus:
a) Economically - only as a trophy, that is, as an object of extraction for the next "torn" and "utilization", giving one or another "gesheft" not only directly from the "torn" and "utilization" of Belarus, but also from the elimination of competitors, working on the territory and from the territory of Belarus.
b) Politically - only as a “pawn” or other “bargaining chip” in those “games” that are played or played by specific subjects of international politics towards Belarus on the global and regional “geopolitical chessboard”.
And for the proletariat of Belarus, as well as for all its popular masses, there is no other alternative:
- either a complete "torn apart" and "utilization" of the entire industrial social organism of Belarus, that is, themselves as its organic moments of this social organism, with all the inevitable companions and consequences of the final "torn" and "utilization";
- or the self-organization of the proletariat of Belarus into a class for itself , which only gives a historical chance of further life (for many, if not for the majority, in the end it may well turn out to be such in the most literal sense very soon).
2) If the proletariat of Belarus does not have enough consciousness and organizational forces for self-organization into a class for itself, then the proletariat of Belarus will inevitably split into many factions (parties and parties, groups and groups), including “compromisers” and “tolerated”, "Bourgeois-democratic buzoters" and "proletarian rebels of anarcho-syndicalist persuasions".
By this, the proletariat of Belarus will finally turn itself into nothing more than an object of power and control by the bourgeoisie, as well as a supplier of cannon fodder for various opposing groups of the internal and external bourgeoisie, which has now identified Belarus as its next booty (trophy).
But none of the possible options for the further development of the situation in Belarus in its deployment can no longer be either quick, or relatively simple, or, even more so, relatively easy for the proletariat and the masses of Belarus as a whole.