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Auto Industry in Russia Finally Fall, Workfolk Sit Still

Auto Industry in Russia Finally Fall, Workfolk Sit Still
15.08.2009

Izhevsky Automobile Factory (IzhAvto) sent a petition on bankruptcy in Arbitration court of the Udmurt Republic. Deficiency of money resources and refusal of potential creditors from allocation of the financial help became the reason of such decision of administration. The factory does not produce cars since April, 29th when because of falling demand for new cars and absence of vehicle set for production of Kia models, manufacture was suspended. At first it was planned to restart factory work in July, then the terms were transferred for August. In the end of May it became known about job cut of 56 percent of employees - at that point it made more than 3000 people.

It was informed earlier that "IzhAvto" initiates bankruptcy in case of non-accommodation of future credits at a rate of three billions roubles by Sberbank of Russia and 300 million roubles by the banks "Ak Bars", "Uralsib" and "Zenit". These means were planned to direct for re-structuring of debts which as of the beginning of April reached 11,3 billion roubles.

Buyback of 74.8% of shares of "IzhAvto" from its affiliated companies was one more way of rescue of the enterprise. Then the private owner of the remained package of 24,99% of shares should sell them "for notional value". The main condition of realization of such variant was car factory transition under control of "Rostehnology", therefore transaction would become favourable to concern Renault-Nissan owning a part of shares of "AvtoVaz". In the future the French-Japanese consortium planned to produced own models on "IzhAvto".

No schemes was a success, banks didn't give money, factory - bankrupt.

However, management of AvtoVaz which received 25 billion budget money plans to employ a part of workers who since September will work on manufacture part of the time - to be engaged in the activity which is not connected with car production. As it is informed on the site of the enterprise, approximately 10 thousand people would be engaged in these works, their salary will appear below a living wage of the Samara region. That is it is necessary to understand that 110 thousand people working on AvtoVaz will be compelled to live in the nearest half a year on a living wage.

As it was informed earlier, "AvtoVaz" will not produce cars all the August long and since September, 1st reduced working schedule which will last till February, 28th, 2010 will appear. Payment to the workers during this period will be paid at the rate of actual operating time.

Administration of the enterprise addressed the government of the Samara region with request to fix up for public works 22 thousand people in July. In August the factory and local authorities signed the agreement to subsidize indemnification of expenses of "AvtoVaz" on employment of workers from the regional budget.


From editorial board: Living wage size in the Samara region for the 2nd quarter of 2009 in per capita terms - 5 517 roubles, for able-bodied population - 6 064 roubles, for pensioners - 4 461 rouble and for children - 5 319 roubles. That is we will consider proceeding from 6 thousand - if earlier the worker of AvtoVaz received 10-12 thousand a month, for the reduced week he will hardly receive more on the average. If to take the salary of the whole collective for half a year proceeding from living wage, we will get the sum of hardly less than 4 billion roubles.

 

It's interesting to ask, where other 21 billion of state grant are? The Office of Public Prosecutor, to tell you the truth, started checking expenditure of these 25 billion but it will hardly find something illegal - we have such laws that it is possible to pay "fairly" to the higher management more than to the whole working collective, for example. Or to do something else legal.

It is clear that Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia does not support protest action of workers - the salary of the head of trade union is estimated in hundreds thousand (higher management receives millions).

Nevertheless, new protest action is planned for the beginning of September in Tolyatti - it would be good if the number of workers were higher, than on August, 6th and collective requirements were more intelligent, than the ones of the first action. Let's say, it's silly enough to demand nationalization of the state, as a matter of fact, joint-stock company - one should achieve individual share of labour collective in share package with the right of blocking voice in the Board of Directors.

- Workers can allocate members of board of directors directly from their environment, - Doctor of Economics Michael Delyagin considers, - they also can invite independent directors. Both variants are possible in existing legislative space but the second variant is registered better legislatively and it's easier to realize it. Certainly, workers should constantly demand thus from "their" director report for each step. The second variant has its advantages - workers have an opportunity to study management at own enterprise and, roughly speaking, can delegate even the cleaner aunt Masha and well-cared members of board of directors will jump round aunt Masha and persuade her to vote as it's necessary because she has the right of veto. But neither the first, nor the second will not be simple to do - it is necessary to struggle.

- Certainly, requirement of participation of labour collective in share package plus legislative registration of such subject as Council of Labour Collective or Council of Working Representatives is not simple question and it is necessary to achieve it, - editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk Anatoly Baranov considers. - Nobody will give even a piece of share package to workers. But if this autumn already a set of protesting collectives will act with solidary requirements of similar character, the question will become not simply solvable - it will be introduced into the parliament and "Edinaya Russia" will vote for it, it has no other way. It is actually very realistic project and there's in general everything available for it. Prospects here are much more impressive, than dogmatic "control of workers" which is demanded by those who has not noticed - Trotsky mentioned control of workers in his articles already in 20s years, when the power was in hands of Councils. Then control of workers meant control of the ruling class, as a matter of fact - master's eye. While today owners, especially if they act on behalf of the state, don't care about control even from the part of Office of Public Prosecutor. They would spit upon the results of control of workers, as it doesn't mean any influence on administration. Not simple control is necessary, participation of representatives of labour collective in the Board of directors with the right of veto is necessary.

 

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