Employer refuses to pay compensation despite legal ruling

13.07.2017

Despite the union winning a lawsuit against Russia’s largest car manufacturer AvtoVAZ, 1,100 workers have yet to receive their compensation for three years’ work in harmful conditions. 

On 19 June, IndustriALL Global Union affiliate the Interregional Trade Union "Workers Association" (ITUWA) won the case against the employer AvtoVAZ, after seeking financial compensation for harmful working conditions, that had not been paid for several years. More than 1,000 workers were to receive compensation in the form of paid vacation days, ranging from five to 25 additional days for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

After the trial, which included company management forcing workers to withdraw their claims, then threatening them with dismissal, and Sergey Topolov, the chair of the shop committee of ITUWA, sent on a compulsory treatment at the company sanatorium to prevent his participation, the union won the lawsuit.

But despite the victory, the company is still refusing to allow workers to take holidays, citing staff shortages and possible stop of operation.

Sergey Topolov says:

“Really there is a situation that the employee goes on vacation, not when it is convenient to him, but when it is convenient to the employer. 

The union won the case in court. We are meeting management on 21 July, if issues are not resolved by then we will go on an indefinite strike, which will reduce capacity.” 

AvtoVAZ is the largest manufacturer of passenger cars in Russia, and is owned by Renault-Nissan Alliance and the Russian state company Rostec.