( dpa ) - Wildcat strikes by Polish customs workers brought to a halt international traffic at selected Belarusian and Ukrainian border check points, officials in Minsk and Kiev said Friday.
Automobiles and lorries were stuck in lengthening queues in both directions at the Varshavsky Most and Domachevo crossing sites, a pair of heavily-used road transit points on the Polish-Belarusian border, said Belarus customs spokesman Aleksander Tishchenko, according to Belapan news agency report.
"The Polish customs workers are only admitting vehicles with diplomatic license plates," Tishchenko said. "Otherwise nothing is getting through."
Other crossing sites were functioning normally, but due to the shut-down of the two highway checkpoints, hundreds of long-distance lorries moving goods westward were for practical purposes trapped in Belarus, he said.
Rail traffic in neighbouring Ukraine also was affected by a localised strike, Ukrainian officials said, citing a Polish government Friday warning Polish customs officials would not process goods moving between Ukraine and Poland at three key rail check points.
More than 1,500 rail cars already were stacked up on the Ukrainian side of the border, most loaded with ore, coal, and metal, according to a statement by the Ukrainian national customs service.
The work stoppages on both the Ukrainian and Belarusian frontiers are part of an effort by the Polish customs officials to improve their working conditions, the Interfax news agency reported.