The Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow is assembling a list of schools that have ties to new democratic trade unions and NGOs. The Moscow Municipal Department of Education ordered all Moscow schools to report on such contacts.

In Saint Petersburg, the IUF-affiliated Novoprof is successfully recruiting among the many migrant workers from Central Asia working in food, catering and cleaning. Vulnerable and easily exploited, often lacking proper documentation, the workers are easily prey to wage theft. Over the past 8 months, Novoprof has recruited hundreds of these migrants, helping them win more than 3 million roubles (USD 100.000) of unpaid wages.

On 22 May ITUA activists met with Volkswagen management in Kaluga, Russia. The management agreed to pay double for work on weekends in the Summer and weekend overtime work would only be done only on a voluntary basis.

On Saturday 27 April representatives of university teachers from 13 regions of Russia gathered in Moscow at the trade union-linked hotel Izmailovo. The purpose of the gathering was to set up an independent inter-regional trade union that would stand up for the interests of higher education employees in deeds, not words.

Russian unionist Valentin Urusov who was recently freed from prison received the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights 2013. IndustriALL Global Union supported his nomination for the award.

"Urusov has become symbolic of the struggle for workers' rights and freedom of association in Russia," says Leif Sande, committee chair and head of the LO trade union Industri Energi.

Volkswagen introduced a new work schedule at its plant in Kaluga, Russia, for the summer, requiring work on Saturdays and Sundays almost every week. Workers were pressured by foremen to accept the new schedule in writing. The Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA), which organizes VW workers in Kaluga, decided to take collective action.

The Prosecutor’s Office questions for the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) are at times ridiculous or irrelevant, claims the union. On 20 March the ITUA was inspected by the authorities as part of a broader crack down on independent organizations. Alexei Etmanov, ITUA president, was given a letter specifying the documents which were requested from the union.

On April 16 Moscow hosted a conference on management, representation and protection of labour migrants’ rights and trade unions’ experience and prospects. It was organized by the Centre for Social and Labour Rights, the Confederation of Labour of Russia and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF).

On 20 March the headquarters of the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, were visited by the representatives of the Prosecutor’s office. The authorities requested various official documents from the union.

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