Labour conflicts in Russia on the rise, cuts top of agenda – union official

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – Volgograd, March 17, 2015)

The number of social labour conflicts in the Russian Federation has increased in the past eight months, deputy chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Yevgeniy Makarov said on Tuesday [17 March].

“The previous week was one of the most difficult ones. Conflicts were recorded in every federal district. There were about 15 of them. The usual figure for one week is eight or nine social labour conflicts,” Makarov said at a news conference on Tuesday at the Interfax South agency press centre in Volgograd.

He noted that in previous years the bulk of the conflicts arose because of the nonpayment of wages at private enterprises. Now, however, the main reason is the cuts and dismissals of workers. Moreover, a large number of disputes have appeared in the state sector.

[Passage omitted: the news conference was part of a union-organized motor rally from Moscow to Magadan, during which meetings with union activists are held in many towns and cities.]

“At the meetings, we do of course speak of the problems in the country too. This is because the working people now face an economic crisis. This year, slogans for 1 May [Workers’ Solidarity Day] will be about a tough position on the government’s anticrisis programme,” leader of the Union of Labour party Aleksandr Shershunov has said.