Real incomes in Russia decline 2.0% in July, wages down 9.2% – Rosstat

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. Aug 19 (Interfax) – Real disposable incomes in Russia fell 2.0% in July compared with the same month last year, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said. They fell 3.5% in June, 6.4% in May, 4% in April, 1.8% in March, 1.6% in February and 0.8% in January. Incomes fell 2.9% in real terms in January-July 2015. They declined […]

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Russians Named Europe’s Least Productive Workers

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 11, 2015) The productivity of the Russian workforce is the lowest among European countries, according to a report issued Monday by the France-based international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD. In Russia, labor productivity – measured by the gross domestic product valued in U.S. dollars divided by the total number of hours […]

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NEWSWATCH Kyiv Post: Soviet social guarantees for employees scare away investors, often backfire

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

The Kyiv Post and Olena Gordiienko comment on Ukrainian labor law and its impact on real world labor practices, business and investment. Ukrainian labor legislation is paternalistic and focuses excessively on employee rights, many lawyers and employers say … it also leads to unintended consequences.   Ukrainians earn less than any other nation in Europe, $180 per month on average. Unemployment rose from 7.3 […]

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Ukraine’s labour reforms threaten workers’ rights

Rada File Photo

(openedemocracy.net – Vitaly Dudin – June 5, 2015) Vitaly Dudin is a legal analyst at Ukraine’s Center for Social and Labor Research, which was created in 2013 as an independent not-for-profit institution dedicated to the analysis of socio-economic problems, collective protests, labour relations and conflicts The oligarchs have joined forces to railroad a new labour code that strips Ukrainian workers of […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia plans detailed discussion on raising retirement age: document

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

The Russian government has for the first time said officially it will hold discussions on raising the retirement age, a step whose supporters say is vital because the country’s workforce is shrinking. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/14/us-russia-crisis-pensions-idUSKBN0NZ27R20150514

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Moscow Times: Despite Crisis, Most Russian Companies Aren’t Cutting Jobs

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 13, 2015) Despite the economic crisis, two-thirds of Russian companies aren’t cutting jobs and prefer to survive the crisis by shortening work hours or cutting workers’ salaries, a study by global management consultancy Hay Group found. “A lot of companies have refused to take radical measures, as in some sectors the situation has stabilized,” […]

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Putin sees growth of wages outrunning labor productivity as one of causes of economic crisis

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. April 27 (Interfax) – The causes of the crisis in the Russian economy are not only external, but also internal, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “As to overcoming the crisis in the Russian economy, we need to understand the causes to decide what to do […] There are, of course, external causes, but they are primarily internal,” Putin […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Unpaid Russian Workers Unite in Protest Against Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

After months of frustration with an economy sagging under the weight of international sanctions and falling energy prices, workers across Russia are starting to protest unpaid wages and go on strike, in the first nationwide backlash against President Vladimir V. Putin’s economic policies. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/world/europe/russian-workers-take-aim-at-putin-as-economy-exacts-its-toll.html?_r=0

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Worker Strikes Will Only Boost Kremlin’s Popularity, Say Analysts

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 31, 2015) Withheld salaries, unforeseen firings and pay cuts have amplified discontent in an array of Russia’s economic sectors, leading to a handful of strikes political analysts said Monday were more likely to bolster workers’ support for the Kremlin than weaken it. A scattering of Russian teachers, builders and factory workers […]

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Health Care Workers to Hunger-Strike in Protest of Labor Conditions

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 24, 2015) Health care workers in central Russia threatened to stage a hunger strike starting Monday to protest what they described as “repercussions” against co-workers who demanded better working conditions and higher salaries at previous protests, media reports said. The hunger strike, planned in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s republic of Bashkortostan, […]

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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 […]

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Ten New Laws That Will Affect Your Life in Russia in 2015

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – January 21, 2015) New year, new you: An expression that has taken on a special meaning for those living in Russia, where a plethora of new laws – many with a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens and residents – entered into effect on Jan. 1. The Moscow Times has […]

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Working in the Gulag: Russia’s Prison Service, the FSIN, wants to put inmates’ employment on a more businesslike footing, but their working conditions are still more like slave labour

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(opendemocracy.net – VYACHESLAV KOZLOV – January 9, 2015) Vyacheslav Kozlov is a journalist for daily newspaper Kommersant. He writes on international relations, nationalism, extremism, narco-politics, the Russian opposition and the problems facing Russia’s NGOs. He has at various times worked for Vremya Novostei, Moskovskiye Novosti and the online publication Gazeta.ru. His work has also appeared in Novaya Gazeta and Lenta.ru. […]

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Russia’s Boom Business: Forced Labor In Prisons

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Vladimir Abarinov – August 11, 2014) When Nadezhda Tolokonnikova arrived at penal colony IK-14 in August 2012, a deputy warden proudly announced: “As far as my political convictions go, I am a Stalinist.” Tolokonnikova soon learned what that meant in practice. One year into her sentence for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” the Pussy Riot activist launched a hunger strike […]

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Now I’m a union man

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Grigory Tumanov – January 13, 2014) Grigory Tumanov is a Moscow based journalist and blogger. He is a staff correspondent for Kommersant daily, one of Russia’s most respected publications. In both Soviet and more recent times, Russia’s trade unions have tended to be an arm of the regime, but Grigory Tumanov argues that a growing independent movement is […]

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Interfax: Most migrants come to Russia in visa-free travel regime, many don’t speak Russian

Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – A third of migrant workers do not speak Russian, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky said. “We are witnessing a surge in the arrivals of migrants from CIS member countries. As of now, 11.1 million foreigners are staying in Russia, and almost three-quarters of them enjoy the visa-free travel regime,” he told a roundtable in […]

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My Two Days Working Undercover at Moscow’s Sadovod Market

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eradzh Nidoev – November 7, 2013) [Photos here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/my-2-days-working-undercover-at-moscows-sadovod-market/489045.html] It’s 6 a.m. and still dark outside. I am standing inside the sprawling Sadovod market on the 14th kilometer of the Moscow Ring Road in southeast Moscow. A sweeper is working one of the deserted rows of shops, trying to put things in order after yesterday’s […]

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Russian Nation Said to Have Lost Its Ability to Assimilate Others

Migrant Workers file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 6, 2013) For most of modern times, ethnic Russians have assimilated members of other nations living among them because they represented a more advanced community, but now, a Moscow blogger says, they have “lost the ability to assimilate other peoples,” something that makes the influx of non-Russian migrants even more disturbing […]

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Kudrin says Russian economy cannot do without migrants

Alexei Kudrin file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 22 (Interfax) – The Russian economy will have difficulties functioning without migrant workers, former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said. “Russia will become a country with workforce deficit in the coming years…We currently cannot do without migrant workers. But migration should be regulated, it should be legal,” Kudrin told reporters in St. Petersburg on Tuesday during the […]

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Study Says Education System Disappoints Market Needs

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 22, 2013) The Russian education system is increasingly unable to meet the demands of the country’s labor market and shows little ability to fill vacancies in high-skill industries, according to a study released Tuesday. The second annual Hays Global Skills Index, published by global recruitment company Hays in association with Oxford […]

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Putin: productivity gains must accelerate to shift from raw materials

Oil Well file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, October 2, 2013) The current challenge for the Russian economy is the need to accelerate labor productivity gains, since the current slow pace means that the economic orientation on raw materials extraction will continue, President Vladimir Putin said in Moscow on Wednesday at the Russia Calling investment forum organized by VTB Capital. “For Russia, the main, crucial […]

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The Gulag within: Harsh realities of Russian penal colonies

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 1, 2013) For 22-year-old Lena Ivanova, work at a penal colony sewing military uniforms began at 8:30 a.m. and could last well into the night. “There were situations when there was a big [production] order, and the warden would call everyone outside [into the square] rain or snow, and we were […]

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How former Soviet countrymen resettle in Russia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lyudmila Nazdracheva, special to RBTH – September 26, 2013) This year, thanks to a program that facilitates the return of nationals to Russia, around 15,000 people have moved back to the country. The plans for the program estimated the influx of returning émigrés to be in the hundreds of thousands per year, and […]

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Russian business ombudsman urges amnesty for migrants

Boris Titov file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 18, 2013) Russia’s business ombudsman proposed on Tuesday that the country’s authorities should declare amnesty for illegal migrants to help both the foreign workers and their employers. Ombudsman Boris Titov, who helped put forward amnesty for Russians jailed on economic charges, wrote a column saying that business in the country needed a considerable inflow of […]

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Wage Growth Stagnant on High Inflation, Economic Slowdown

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Guennadi Moukine – September 17, 2013) Moscow jobs pay 40 percent more compared to similar positions in regional centers, but wage growth has remained stagnant in the last five years across all regions in the country, according to findings from international consulting firm Hay Group. A five-year overview of Russia’s employment market demonstrated no growth […]

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Most Russians Unhappy About Migrant Worker Influx – State Survey

Migrant Workers file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, Aug. 1, 2013) ­ Most Russians have negative views regarding the influx of labor migrants, millions of whom come from former Soviet republics in Central Asia to seek a better living in Russia, according to the results of a state survey published Thursday. About two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents to the poll, conducted last month, said […]

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Love more important than career for most Russians – poll

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Interfax – MOSCOW. July 6, 2013) Mutual and happy love contributes to career growth, in the view of 62% of Russians interviewed by the www.superjob.ru web portal in the run-up to Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness. At the same time, 10% of those polled believe these feelings only obstruct career growth and 16% do not see any relation between […]

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Over quarter of Russians convinced nothing can be achieved with strikes – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) The faith of Russian citizens in the efficiency of going on strike has decreased – the number of those considering strikes as the only way to resolve issues has gone down in the past years, while the number of skeptics grew considerably, a poll showed. In 1989 17% respondents considered strikes to be the […]

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Russian officials worried influx of migrants becomes unmanageable

Migrant Workers file photo

(Interfax – June 6, 2013) The influx of migrants in Russia is becoming alarming, head of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovskiy has said, as quoted by Interfax news agency on 6 June. “For the last four years, we have recorded a significant increase in the number of immigrants to Russia. It was especially high in 2012 and 2013. Certainly, […]

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Russian analysts: immigrants, guest workers fertile ground for radical Islamism

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Interfax / Religion – Moscow, May 15, 2013) The head of a Russian policy think tank has argued that immigrants and guest workers who have come to Russia from Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union are potentially a fertile environment for radical Islamist ideas and called for tighter restrictions on immigration and guest labor. “The migrants are hostile toward […]

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Laboring in Sochi No Slice of Heaven

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – April 30, 2013) SOCHI ­ The problems on Ruslan Zokhidov’s mind are not typical for a young man of his age: he is the least likely person to be found nattily dressed at a trendy night club or entering a university lugging a pile of books. Instead, Zokhidov, 19, lugs building materials […]

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Russians in America: Chasing a dream or unemployment?

U.S. Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vladimir Chukov, Stepan Serdyukov, Anna Laletina, special to RBTH – April 15, 2013) RBTH continues its coverage of the U.S. Work & Travel program by asking three former participants about their experiences. The Summer Work and Travel program, created as a public diplomacy tool in 1963, allows foreign university students to work and […]

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‘Quality Issues’ Led to Work-and-Travel Visa Crunch

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – April 11, 2013) Concerns about participants’ safety, health and well-being are behind record visa refusal rates for Russian university students applying to work and travel in the United States this summer, a senior State Department official told an audience at the American Center in Moscow on Wednesday. Tara Sonenshine, the State Department’s […]

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U.S. Embassy Slams Door on Student Workers

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – April 5, 2013) Without warning or explanation, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has rejected an unprecedented percentage of Russian university students applying for visas to take part in the State Department’s popular Summer Work and Travel program this year, dashing hopes and placing the program’s future in doubt. About 80-90 percent of […]

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Labor Ministry: Birth Rate Up 10.5% in Russia

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

MOSCOW. March 13 (Interfax) – The birth rate in Russia grew by over 10% year-on-year this January. “Some 158,900 babies were born in January 2013 or 15,100 (10.5%) more babies than the year before. That was the highest January birth rate since the launch of the demographic program. Birth rates tend to be lower in the first month of the […]

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Blind Lawmaker Praises New Law Requiring Firms to Hire the Disabled

File Photo of Back of Wheelchari with Line of Persons in Business Dress in Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – February 26, 2013) Oleg Smolin, a State Duma deputy with the Communist Party, praised a law that entered into force Monday and requires companies to hire disabled people or face fines of up to 10,000 rubles ($330). “We supported this legislation because it looks like a first step forward,” Smolin, who is […]

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Russian Unemployment Hit Record Low Last Year, Revised Data Show

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Scott Rose & Olga Tanas – February 26, 2012) Russian unemployment fell to a record low of 5 percent in August and September last year, less than the initially reported 5.2 percent, revised data released by the Federal Statistics Service show. Last month’s reading of 6 percent was unchanged, the Moscow-based service said in a report […]

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Sochi Is a Hard Nut to Crack for PR Gurus

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – February 7, 2013) One year before the Winter Olympics are to kick off, it looks like Sochi 2014 is getting mired in controversy. While the country’s leaders have made it clear that the Olympics are a matter of national pride and prestige, national and international media attention is increasingly focused on […]

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Russia rejects Olympic workers abuse claims

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – February 6, 2013) A senior Russian government minister has dismissed allegations that migrant workers involved in preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are being cheated out of wages and denied adequate rest, food and housing, the privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 6 February. With almost exactly a year to go until the Games, Dmitriy […]

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Russia Needs Immigrants, FMS Chief Says

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – January 22, 2013) Russia urgently needs to attract immigrants over the coming years to avoid labor shortages, the country’s top migration officer said Monday. “Even if we manage to stabilize or increase the population by raising the birth rate, the only source for increasing the labor force for the coming 15 […]

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Russians favor immigration restrictions – poll

Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) – The majority of Russians want the government to restrict labor immigration. The number of people favoring labor immigration restrictions has grown from 57% to a six-year high of 64% over the past 12 months, according to a November poll held by the Levada Analytical Center. The number of those who have not yet formed an […]

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‘Adaptation Center’ to Help Migrants Integrate

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Natalya Krainova – November 13, 2012) Russia’s largest association of migrants opened an “adaptation center” in Moscow on Monday that will help workers from other countries learn Russian, obtain professional training and get medical insurance and bank loans. The center will help to fulfill goals set by President Vladimir Putin in late August to “secure […]

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Russian Unemployment Spans From 0.6% in Moscow to 47.3% in Ingushetia

Map of Russia

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) – Differentiation between the levels of unemployment in Russia’s federal districts remains strong – the gap in the districts can surpass four-fold and in the regions 80-fold, the Federal State Statistics Service Rosstat said in a report on employment and unemployment in September. The lowest level of unemployment, in accordance with ILO criteria, was in the […]

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