Europe’s aggressive external market
access agenda, combined with its push internally for market reforms in the
interest of competitiveness, poses new threats to workers in the North and South and will need a transnational trade union response.
The Russian labour code, written to suit the interests of employers, has pushed workers to unite and oppose its draconian terms.
Recently Russian mass media have focused on labor movement. For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union the Russian journalists are writing about strikes and workers’ protests on May 1, 2008. Strike movement has been on the rise in Russia during the last ten months. It was started by the workers of the transnational companies and was assumed by the employees of the Russian corporations.
The strike at the Ford factory in Vsevolozhsk has invigorated the labour movement, which could turn the struggle for the amendment of the Russian Labour code into the most important political issue of the year.
The confrontation between employees and administration of the “Ford” plant in Vsevolozhsk ended in compromise. The salary was raised by 16-20% depending on the category of employee, rather than by one third, as the trade union demanded.