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Growth of Strike Movement in Russia Is Capable to Change the Whole Country

Growth of Strike Movement in Russia Is Capable to Change the Whole Country
14.08.2007

Strike movement, even being not mass, revives and this fact is an evidence of the growth of labour disputes and absence of efficient mechanisms for their settlement. Today it creates just local inconveniencies but the problem concealed is capable to turn into something more in the future.

- Attenuation of a strike activity - is a natural result of revival of manufacture under a rain of petrodollars. But no everyone gets superincomes and it creates branch and regional depressive zones with high disputed potential. Owing to unwillingness of the state to modernize economy as well as to rapid import growth (31,3 % in 2006 and 38,8 % in first half of 2007 - in comparison to the export growth accordingly - 24,7 % and 8,3 %) these zones even extend, - Michael Delyagin - chairman of editorial staff of FORUM.msk - considers.

Today the workers of the successful enterprises seeing sharp growth of incomes of managers reflect on more smooth growth of salary. As the result, only in June of this year when there the first strike with 100 participants passed officially, according to Institute of collective action, there were also strike with participations of builders in Grozny, of workers from "Michajlovtsement" in Ryazan, on TPP "Uzhnaya" in Penza, on "Krasnodarenergoremont", on wood processing enterprises "Madok" in Malaya Vishera, there were also strikes of the owners of all 300 shops and enterprises of public caterings of Kirensk (Irkutsk area), of approximately 900 medical men from 19 districts of the Chita region and all plumbers of Local Housing Maintenance Office in Saratov. In May, when officially there were no strikes, they were in reality carried out at least by the drivers of forklifts of "Brewery Heineken", of one of bread-baking complexes in Novosibirsk and mechanics of "Liftservice" in Pskov.

- The strikes which passed almost simultaneously on "AutoVaz" and "Karelian Flow Roll" were interesting not only by debunkink  of propaganda myth about full termination of labour conflicts in present Russia but also by comparison of behaviour of effective private and state management, - Michael Delyagin marks. - It is clear that business hates strikers. But representatives of "Severstal" which is he owner of "Karelian Flow Roll" in Kostomuksha, acting in conditions of considerably smaller publicity (thus using greater freedom of hands), did not involve nevertheless FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to suppression of dissatisfied workers, did not confiscate circulations of newspapers, did not declare strike nonexistent, did not resort to moral terror and did not declare strikers extremists. One can say that as a result they were the losers - they had to sit down to negotiating table with representatives of the workers. But this "defeat", if it can be called so, is harmless for them, for the requirements of people working on this private enterprise appeared to be softly, than the ones of those who worked on the state enterprise: they demanded not a multiple salary increase but safety of work and correction of situation when premium made 70 % of earnings that destabilized the life of workers.

"The victory of the management of "AutoVaz" looks as Pyrrhic victory, - Michael Delyagin continued, - as in the city with almost Moscow prices and even greater municipal payments the salary in 10 000 rbl. is enough only to survive and new conflicts - especially in connection with crisis into which "AvtoVaz" sinks under supervision of new, "Petersburg" management - seem to be inevitable.

Labour conflicts are hidden as by absence of publicity, as by the fact that the Labour code implicitly allows employers to forbid strikes. For this reason not forbidden hunger-strikes and not strikes are widespread; for this reason Rosstat, not less crafty than "the Russian god", fixed eight strikes with total number of participants 1200 people who didn't work eight days on average in 2006, meanwhile only two strikes with 900 participants who didn't fulfill totally 1000 man-work units were fixed in the first half of this year.

Comparison of strikes confirms once again that though the state is obliged to supervise a number of branches, first of all infrastructures, excessive expansion of its property (in particular, a car industry which by nature should be private) undermines not only manufacture but also labour relations.

- It is necessary not to forget that the European privatization in many respects was caused by the fact that a strike on private enterprise - is a headache of the owner and on state - is a large political problem, - Michael Delyagin noticed. - Experience including our country, teaches: reprisal and attraction of special services against those who protect their rights not only does not solve conflicts but even does not prolong existence of those who applies these specific means.

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