Factory workers are staging mass strikes at major Belarusian enterprises
On Friday, August 14, workers at major enterprises across Belarus held rallies demanding a review of the voting results from last week’s presidential elections, which, according to election officials, saw incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko (Alyaksandr Lukashenko) win 80 percent of the vote. The protesting workers are also demanding the release of everyone arrested during this week’s street protests and an end to the use of violence against demonstrators. Strikes are now taking place at the Atlant and Gefest appliance manufacturers, as well as at the Milavitsa clothing factory, the Grodno meat-packing plant, the Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ), and the Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ). At a meeting earlier today, Lukashenko said that “there was only one example at MAZ and MTZ: there, 20 people decided to express their opinion and walked off the job. The production head says: fine, go guys, I’ve got enough people, all these people’s salaries. They turned around and went back to work.” In reality, the workers’ rallies look quite different.