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Belarusian Market Vendors Plan Strike

Market traders won't sell anything as a "warning strike" on June 15.
Market traders won't sell anything as a "warning strike" on June 15.
MINSK -- Vendors at a major Minsk market announced on June 7 that they will hold "a warning strike" on June 15 to protest the market owner's decision to annul its contracts with the stall-keepers, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

A vendor at Minsk's Malinauka market named Valyantsina told RFE/RL that vendors on the first floor of the market have decided they will come to work on June 15 but will not sell anything.

She said it will serve as a "warning strike" to protest the market owner's plan to annul its lease agreements with about 300 vendors renting space on the first floor and sign a new collective lease with a trade company.

Valyantsina said the vendors have privatized part of the sales area and they themselves paid for utilities such as containers, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

She said the market's owner and the local authorities have already sent the vendors written notice to vacate the premises within one month.

"We are not going to leave our work places like that, we will fight for our rights," Valyantsina said.

The vendors decided on June 7 that if their demands are not met after the June 15 strike, they will start a street protest.

Read more in Belarusian here