Mr. Shmakov’s (tr: Mikhail Victorovich Shmakov, head of the Russian Federation of Independent Trade Unions) organization the FNPR (tr:Russian initials of the Federation) is very anxious that workers of the Union “Defense” along with those of other Russian workers’ trade union organizations, have put forth a new draft Labor Code.
A quote from a speech of Mr. Shmakov over the intercom at a meeting of the FNPR: “The majority of the participants in the discussion have rejected in practice the government’s version, recognized that the versions of A. Golov and Avaliani-Shein are unrealistic, and completely supported the draft introduced by the ‘Group of Seven’ deputies of the State Duma.
Our comments: This is how Mr. Shmakov finds our draft, which defends the rights of workers unrealistic, but finds the draft of the FNPR realistic, according to which a third of wages will be distributed in manure and nails.
Yet another quote from Mr. Smakov: The Avaliani Labor Code in the new Duma has only one active lobbyist – Oleg Shein, the leader of the so-called Alliance of Workers Unions “Defense of Labor”. This same Shein joined the grouping “Regions of Russia”, but there is no other in that or in other groups or fractions of the Duma who supports this version of the Labor Code.
A quote from the speech of A. Isaev, the deputy chair of the Duma’s Labor Committee: “At the meeting of our multi-fraction group of deputies, Mr. Shein announced that he would summon his supporters to vote for the Avaliani Labor Code and against the deputies’ version. Such a position in fact plays into the hands of the government, and gives them the ability outright to force their variant of the Codex of Laws on Labor through the Duma.
Our comments: Well, what are Messrs Shmakov and Isaev afraid of, if no one in the State Duma, other than Oleg Shein, is supporting the workers’ draft of the Labor Code? Perhaps, under the strong influence of the position of the workers and the progressives among the deputies, (the All Union draft is supported not only by Oleg Shein, but by M. Shakkum, O. Smolin and a number of other deputies in the parliament), the Duma will vote against all the variants that would destroy the rights of the workers – both that proposed by the government, and that proposed by the FNPR?
A quote from Shmakov: The so-called “Alliance of workers’ unions “Defense of Labor” takes a radical position towards the government draft, as well as that introduced by the group of deputies. The Alliance defends Avaliani’s bill, which is also supported by the Russian Union of Dockworkers and the Russian Union of Railway Locomotive Work Crews, which, as we know, have just tens of thousands of members.
Well, this independent of the workers Shmakov, what is he afraid of, if the workers’ Trade Unions have only tens of thousands of members? It is absolutely obvious that Mr. Shmakov is afraid of the exposure of his strike breaking, treacherous position, is afraid that the real Trade Union movement of Russia will cause the government’s version to fail, like the version of his anti-worker FNPR, and will force the authorities to accept the real progressive version of the Labor Codex.
Press Service of the Alliance of Workers Unions Defense of Labor
Translated by Mark Harris