The “justice for Kazakhstan oil workers” campaign was the central focus of a conference of independent trades union activists, socialists and human rights campaigners from across the former Soviet Union at the weekend.

The largest trade unions, Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR) and Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR), oppose the Russian labour law for the 2018 World Cup, which would deprive tens of thousands of Russian and migrant workers of basic legal protections covering working hours, overtime and its remuneration, weekend and night work and a range of other standards. The law, which was adopted by the Russian Duma this summer, would apply until the end of 2018 and effectively allow FIFA and its partners, including Russian and multinational companies, to set working conditions outside the framework of Russian law.

A serious discussion has erupted after the contents of the notorious “2018 World Cup Law” (or FZ-108, for short) were revealed to the general public. The focus of the discussion has been the consequences of removing restrictions on employing migrant laborers and the possibility of their runaway exploitation if the law’s clauses on voluntary contracts (which place them beyond the reach of a number of articles in the Labor Code) are enforced. However, the people most threatened by FZ-108 are Russian citizens.

As pilots and flight assistants of Russia's flag-carrying airline strive to get a raise from their employer for night flights and harmful working conditions, a lack of qualified personnel amid double-digit growth in passenger numbers has been revealed as a major problem.

Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA), an IndustriALL affiliate, and several other Russian unions affiliated to the Confederation of Labour of Russia launched a campaign “Wages must rise!” On 31 August and 1 September unions in twelve Russian cities mobilized for better wages. The campaign “Wages must rise!” was launched by the Confederation of Labour of Russia.

On July 11, 2013, the Russian Federal Law “On the Preparation and Staging of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in the Russian Federation and the Amendment of Certain Russian Federal Legislative Acts” came into force without any uproar, something inadmissible in such delicate matters. (Hereafter referred to as FZ-108 for brevity’s sake, the full text of the law in the original Russian can be found here.)

The Statement of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of Labour of Russia on the adoption and execution of the Federal law: “About the preparation and holding the FIFA World Cup  2018 and FIFA Confederation Cup 2017 and amendments to some legislative acts of the Russian Federation.”

Judicial board in civil cases issued a ruling which can be an important precedent for the Russian workers whose workplaces were considered as harmful. They should be provided with three types of compensations guaranteed by the law.

June 28, in Moscow, Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR) with the support of KTR member organizations and "Efes Moscow" brewery trade union held a picket in front of the Turkish Embassy. Picket participants expressed their support to comrades in Turkey, where peaceful protest and union solidarity actions were responded with police violence and government attacks on democratic rights and freedoms.

The Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) scheduled a strike on 24 June at Ford in Vsevolozhsk, Russia, over the issues of wages and working conditions. The IndustriALL Global Union affiliated ITUA reports that Ford management in Vsevolozhsk, 25km east of St. Petersburg, has been informed of the planned strike. The strike will begin at 8:30am.

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