Aleksandr Bukhvostov: Belarusian industry is in for a catastrophe…

    Chairman of the Free Metalworkers’ Union (SPM) Aleksandr Bukhvostov told Narodnaya Volya why the industrial enterprises of Belarus have a sad future.

    I can judge earnings only at those enterprises where there are members of our trade union, – says Aleksandr Ivanovich.Indeed, salaries are very different even in the same specialty. It also depends on whether the company ships products or it is kept at warehouses. For example, one of the lowest salaries is at the Avtogidrousilitel plant, although this enterprise works all the time, it does not stand idle. At MAZ, according to my data, workers earn around BYN 1,800-2,000…

    The long list of vacancies at some Belarusian enterprises is related, among other things, with the fact that many workers were fired for political reasons. And layoffs still continue: employees are punished for likes on social networks, reposts of publications from the so-called extremist resources, participation in protests in 2020, for membership in independent trade unions. It often happens that even the most sought-after specialists are fired. For example, according to our information, almost the entire design department at the MZKT was dismissed, highly qualified specialists with work experience lost their jobs.

    It is sad that at the same time the intellectual potential of industrial enterprises is falling. Ordinary workers are also fired, so now there is a certain personnel shortage everywhere. However, it is worth noting that some people leave on their own. Now, a number of enterprises have created simply wild regimes: they monitor social networks, check phones, and somewhere employees are generally forbidden to use them. So, people go to the private sector. I know that welders, for example, create their own teams and earn one and a half to two times more than the amount they earned at the Tractor Works. Skilled workers will always find a use for themselves.

    Well, how to survive if you earn BYN 600-800 while everything around is becoming more expensive – medicines, food, utilities, gasoline? Young people who come to the factories and get such a salary do not stay there for a long time, they leave almost immediately. That is why I say that I am not happy with the prospects for the development of Belarusian industrial enterprises.

    In Sweden, for example, there is not much difference in wages between an experienced worker and one who is just learning a profession. Salaries differ by 10-15%. Of course, under such conditions, a young specialist associates his prospects with the enterprise, participates in its life and development. We don’t have that. A young Belarusian specialist who has a family, a child, is simply unable to survive on this money, especially if he still needs to rent an apartment. Therefore, good specialists go to the private sector which also has its own specific features: a longer working day – 12 hours instead of 8, sometimes the complete absence of a social benefit package…

    Today, pensioners are still working at the factories. A pension of BYN 500 plus a salary of BYN 800 – and it seems that at the very least you can live. The working class is aging…

    Independent trade unions have said before that with such an organization of wages, the Belarusian industry is in for a catastrophe. One gets the impression that the directors do not think about the future at all. They understand everything, but they are silent, they are afraid to say a word against, they work under ideological pressure. The situation is tough… And if it is not corrected now, the Belarusian industry will face big problems in the future, and now we do not even talk of its development. A difficult case…


    What salaries are offered by different enterprises of the country today?

    Workers are required almost everywhere. Wages are very different.


    Minsk Motor Plant

    The list of vacancies at OJSC Minsk Motor Plant Holding Managing Company is quite long.

    We are looking for specialists without bad habits, it is possible to study on the job with the provision of a hostel in Minsk”, informs the HR department of the enterprise.

    Here are the salaries offered at Minsk Motor Plant:

    – turner of the 5th-6th category – from BYN 1,600;

    – set-up operator of automatic lines and modular machines – from BYN 1,600;

    – electrician of the 4th-6th category – BYN 1,400 – 1,700;

    – mechanic-repairman of the 4th-6th category – from BYN 1,300:

    – milling machine operator of the 4th–6th category, drilling-machine operator, grinding-machine operator, toolmaker, heat treatment operator – from BYN 1,600;

    – set-up operator of computer-controlled machine tools; construction metal worker – from BYN 1,700;

    – cleaning worker for industrial and service premises – from BYN 660.


    OJSC Integral

    At OJSC Integral, the managing company of the Integral holding, salaries are not the highest in Minsk. One might say, even more than modest. According to the personnel services, there is also a lack of workers here.

    So, a microelectronics operator (12 working hours, 3 days on / 3 days off, day and night shifts) is offered a salary of BYN 800. For a milling operator (of the 4th category and above, work experience of at least two years, 8 working hours a day) – from BYN 1,250; mechanical assembly worker – from BYN 1,200.

    Employees from other cities will be provided with a bed in a hostel.


    Borisov Plant Avtogydrousilitel

    OJSC Borisov Plant Avtogidrousilitel has a very long list of job offers for qualified specialists.


    – process control engineer, milling machine operator, turner, grinding machine operator, electronic engineer – BYN 650;

    – design engineer, general machine operator – from BYN 600;

    – leak testing operator; shearman to work with saws, hacksaws and machine tools – from BYN 550;

    – die press operator – from BYN 1,000;

    – set-up operator of computer-controlled machine tools, the 4th category and above – from BYN 1,500.



    There are a lot of vacancies at OJSC Bobruiskagromash Holding Management Company, however, I would like to see completely different salaries. Judge for yourself:

    – leading economist in business planning – from BYN 800;

    – removal man – from BYN 500;

    – sales manager / specialist of the marketing department – ​​from BYN 750;

    – tractor driver – from BYN 750;

    – head of the economic department – ​​from BYN 1,200;

    – farm machinery operator at the agricultural production cooperative society Beresnevsky (rural settlement Borovitsa, Kirovsky district) – from BYN 600;

    – chief livestock specialist at the agricultural production cooperative society Beresnevsky – from BYN 1,100;

    – operator of the painting and drying line and unit – from BYN 420.


    Atlant Holding

    Atlant Holding offers many employment options, some vacancies are even marked as “hot”. The salaries are:

    – standardization engineer – BYN 1,000,

    – painter in the refrigerator assembly shop – from BYN 1,300;

    – controller at the security check point (security guard) – from BYN 970;

    – software engineer (Visual FoxPro) – BYN 1,500 – 2,000;

    – leading system architect – BYN 2,200 – 2,500;

    – design engineer – BYN 1,000;

    – removal man – BYN 1,100.



    OJSC Lidselmash Holding Management Company is one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural machinery. The company’s website says that the total number of employees of the company is 570 people. There are also plenty of vacancies here. How much do specialists earn?

    – Process engineer and design engineer – BYN 700 – 750;

    – marketing and sales specialist with knowledge of English – BYN 700 – 720;

    – truck crane operator – BYN 800 – 850;

    – forklift driver – BYN 540 – 550.