16 April, 2012IMF representative Vadim Borisov discussed workers' actions across the globe with young union activists in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Mining and Metallurgical Workers Union of Russia (MMWU) organized two events in Chelyabinsk, one for young union leaders and the other for the activists at Mechel, leading Russian metal company.
RUSSIA: On April 14-15 two workshops took place simultaneously at the resort near Chelyabinsk, Russia. One was called a Young Union Leaders School and the other was dedicated to 'Union resources and the effectiveness of their use'. The second workshop was organized by the Mining and Metallurgical Workers Union of Russia (MMWU) for the union activists of Mechel, leading Russian mining and metallurgical company.
Young union activists learned about the law practices concerning the Labour Code, developing and negotiating CBAs. IMF representative for CIS countries Vadim Borisov told the activists about the development of the international workers' movement and various union actions, including the ones against precarious work.
Union workshop for Mechel activists was conducted by Eduard Vokhmin (Moscow). The workshop clearly demonstrated that the union at Mechel was ready for serious discussion of its strategic goals and effective use of resources, including the energy of young activists.
During the joint session of two workshops the participants watched and discussed a film made by the Chelyabinsk branch of the MMWU. The film demonstrated the failure of the National Project 'Affordable Housing'. The activists talked about the lack of housing opportunities for young families and ways of promoting this problem both to the general public and the authorities. They proposed to establish contacts with unions in other regions of Russia, which have some experience in raising the issue of affordable housing. The activists will also contact MMWU headquarters on this issue.
'Whatever the employers tell, wages in the metal sector are still not enough for workers to buy their own apartments. MMWU's initiative on this issue could attract other civil society groups in the region,' commented Vadim Borisov.
During the workshops a competition of union banners made by the participants was held.