Russian unions will convene again in Moscow to discuss global deals

Russian unions will convene again in Moscow to discuss global deals

Automotive unions as well as labour confederations have met in Moscow to discuss Global Framework Agreements (GFA) with a view to gaining experience on their potential implementation in Russia.

The meeting was organised by IndustriALL Global Union, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), the Centre for Social and Labour Rights, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) and the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR).

Among three dozen participants were representatives of IndustriALL affiliates, including the Automobile and Farm Machinery Workers' Union of Russia, Rosprofmash and ITUWA, from the largest automobile assembly and auto parts plants operating in Russia, such as AVTOVAZ, GAZ, Ford, Volkswagen, GM, Bosch, and Peugeot Citroen Mitsubishi Automobiles Rus.

Union members at Ford, Renault and Leonie from Germany and France also shared their experience of using GFAs.

Participants worked in groups and discussed the purpose, principles and value of GFAs, conditions that should be set for the efficient use of GFAs, as well as the future of GFAs in Russia.

"The discussion showed the majority of workers and unions at Russian enterprises are not aware of GFAs or don't know how to use them, because the wording of GFAs is too general," said a statement from IndustriALL Global Union.

"There is a lack of experience on GFA implementation in Russia and no knowledge of how to put pressure on the employer to follow the GFA.

"The majority of the participants also mentioned it is sufficient for Russia to have labour laws that provide for and protect workers' rights, as well as collective bargaining agreements that extend these rights."

At the Russian Automotive Forum last month, AvtoVAZ CEO, Bo Andersson told just-auto the automaker did not envisage laying off further staff from the 10,000 by which it has already trimmed its workforce.

"There will not be further lay-offs," said Andersson.

"For me, last year we did lay-offs, this year we are working on productivity."

The Moscow workshop was one of the steps towards a trilateral conference on GFAs that will take place in the Russian capital in November, attended by unions, employer organisations and governmental agencies.