Belaruskali employee refuses to leave mine in protest, ends up in mental hospital

Aleg Kudzelka, the foreman of the mining section of the 4RU mine, said that he would remain in the mine after the night shift. He wrote an appeal in which he demanded the resignation of the general director of the enterprise Ivan Halavaty, the release of the imprisoned strike committee members, the cancellation of the decision to dismiss the striking workers, the end of pressure on the members of the strike committee and “an end to the lawlessness of the security forces, an end to intimidation and beating of the country’s civilian population”.

Aleg Kudzelka. Photo:

Later, according to his wife Volha, the man was lifted to the surface, “loaded into an ambulance and accompanied by a car with unknown persons to a psychiatric hospital”.

Employees of the enterprise who wanted to support the strikers gathered at the enterprise in support of the Belaruskali workers. Fifteen people were detained by riot police:

“Thus, to us, workers, the authorities have openly stated the following: you must not gather anywhere! Not in the city, not at industrial sites. Just work and not raise your head! Is this the authorities we need? Do we need to feed them with our labor?”

On August 18, the strike committee of “Belaruskali” announced the strike from midnight on August 19.

On September 11, the Minsk Regional Court declared the strike at the enterprise illegal. Eight employees lost their jobs due to participation in it. Among them is the co-chairman of the strike committee, Anatoly Bokun, who was arrested for 15 days for violating the procedure for organizing and holding mass events.

Later, the head of the legal department of Belaruskali, Andrei Kiseliou, said that the court’s decision would enable the enterprise to take disciplinary measures against the strike participants.

Belaruskali is one of the largest producers of potash mineral fertilizers in the world. The company supplies products to more than 50 countries.