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Russia ratifies ILO Convention 176 on mining safety

3 June, 2013On 21 May the State Duma, the Russian parliament’s lower house, ratified ILO Convention 176 on Safety and Health in Mines. This is the result of many years’ sustained effort of the trade union movement.

IndustriALL Global Union’s Executive Committee meeting on 28-29 May 2013 warmly applauded the victory of the Russian mineworkers’ trade union in achieving this milestone. This Convention was adopted at the ILO Conference in 1995.

The Convention sets minimum health and safety standards at the ratifying country’s mines, including the safety standards for miners working underground and establishing preventive measures. It specifies the rights and duties of the social partners with regard to mine safety.

The ratification of the Convention 176 will not require changes in existing Russian laws. Labour legislation is already fully compatible with the Convention.

Since 1995 the Russian Independent Coal Employees’ Union, an IndustriALL affiliate, appealed several times to the Russian government, urging it to ratify the Convention. The union’s efforts to push for the ratification of the ILO Convention 176 were supported by IndustriALL and its founding organizations under the long standing global campaign “The Stronger the Union, the Safer the Mine”.

“Finally, after 17 years of common struggle the ILO Convention 176 was ratified. This is our great achievement. We thank you for your solidarity, help, and support,” said Ivan Mokhnachuk, president of the Independent Coal Employees’ Union.

Once the ratification passes through each stage of Russia's legislative process, which is now a formality, Russia will become the 27th country to ratify.