Belarusian diaspora in the Netherlands helps the fired and convicted workers of Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ Zhlobin)
Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ) is a ferrous metallurgy enterprise in Zhlobin, Belarus. It employs about 11.000 people.
On August 17, 2020, a partial strike began at the plant. The workers demanded fair elections, freedom to political prisoners and better employment conditions. Strikes are still going on — workers are trying to uphold justice, improve working conditions, create an independent trade union but their efforts are in vain. Dozens of workers were fired, many got high fines.
On 01/02/2021 three striking workers were convicted on Art. 342.1 “Organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them”. They were sentenced to 8 years in prison (3, 2.5 and 2.5 years each) and were fined (1088.29 rubles — apx.$450). Their families and young children are now left without breadwinners.
In addition to the infringement of rights and freedoms, many BMZ facilities have poor working conditions: the roofs in the production space (where steel cord for Micheline is produced) are leaking.. At the same time, BMZ workers are forced to sign propaganda declarations to international organizations to show that “everything is in order”.
The Belarusian diaspora in the Netherlands wants to draw attention to the problems of the striking BMZ workers, to help families whose fathers and husbands are serving unfair sentences for their honest political position. Through the BySol Foundation, the diaspora collects funds for families and also supports them by non-financial means.
Everyone can contribute, join our diaspora! You will not only help people survive, but also give a chance to such enterprises as BMZ to work normally for the benefit of Belarus in the future.