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Alternative trade unions threaten with nationwide action

August 16, 2013, 10:54 UTC+3
The unions want legislative changes, but these requirements should be reflected in collective agreements between unions and owners of enterprises
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On August 31, alternative trade unions will begin a nationwide campaign for increasing employees’ wages, the RBC Daily writes. They demand the annual indexing of wages, fixing of the salary/bonus ratio at the level of at least 80% to 20%, qualifying the work without labour contracts as cheating by the employers. The unions want legislative changes, but these requirements should be reflected in collective agreements between unions and owners of enterprises.

“Workers in Russia are paid half as much as in the West. In developed countries, the share of wages in GDP is about 50%, and in Russia - 25%,” the newspaper quotes politician and trade unionist Oleg Shein. Members of A Just Russia party Shein became widely known during last year’s 40-day hunger strike after the Astrakhan mayoral elections - coming in second, he did not recognise the election results and sought their cancelling. He is currently a leader of the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR).

KTR is the country’s second largest trade union. Its 2,000,000 members are unionised teachers, cinema workers, dock labourers, air traffic controllers, vehicle manufacturers, sailors, doctors, migrant workers and others - almost all of the “strike-prone” workers’ unions.

The unions want to achieve the growth of material well-being of employees through protests, which will begin on August 31. KRT leader Boris Kravchenko told the RBC Daily that at the end of summer pickets and rallies will be staged in 20 regions, it is the grassroots initiative.

Representative of the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) Pyotr Prinev told the newspaper that the rallies and pickets on August 31 will be timed to the beginning of the Group of Twenty summit in St. Petersburg, because the summit will discuss also labour relations. After that the actions are planned for a year at least.

Trade unions demand the fixing of the salary/bonus ratio at the level of at least 80% to 20%, applying the term ‘criminally punishable fraud’ by employers to the work without labour contracts, the introduction of mandatory annual indexing of wages depending on inflation.

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