31 January, 2013IndustriALL Global Union supports Valentin Urusov’s nomination for the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights 2013. Urusov is a Russian trade union leader, who was jailed in 2008 under a fabricated case for his successful attempts to organize workers at diamond mines in the northern province of Sakha in Russia.
In 2008, Urusov led an organizing campaign in which Alrosa Workers’ Union grew up from a few dozens to more than a thousand members in less than a year. He has shown a great mobilization capacity by bringing hundreds of workers into the streets with demands of better pay and working conditions. This example inspired workers and spurred a wave of union organizing actions in other cities.
During one of the mobilization campaigns in September 2008, Urusov was kidnapped by local police officers. He was beaten and threatened to death and later placed under arrest under a clearly fabricated case. The trumped-up charges--drug trafficking—were proven wrong even by the decision of the Sakha Republic’s Supreme Court in May 2009. Valentin Urusov was released, but later arrested again and is now serving his six-year term in a prison under extremely harsh conditions.
All major Russian trade union centers as well as human rights organizations have expressed their common demand for the release of Valentin Urusov.
IndustriALL joins the IUF in asking the jury to nominate Valentin Urusov for the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights 2013, for his courageous and praiseworthy union work. This award would also contribute to bring public attention to Valentin Urusov’s plight and help stop violations of human rights and trade unions rights in Russia and elsewhere.