29 April, 2015A workshop on Global Framework Agreements (GFAs) as a tool to be used in Russia was held on 23-24 April 2015 in Moscow region for unions of the Russian automotive industry.
The workshop was organized by IndustriALL Global Union, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), the Center for Social and Labour Rights, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) and the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR). Among three dozen participants were representatives of IndustriALL affiliates, including the Automobile and Farm Machinery Workers' Union of Russia, Rosprofmash and ITUWA, from the largest automobile assembly and auto parts plants operating in Russia, such as AVTOVAZ, GAZ, Ford, Volkswagen, GM, Bosch, and Peugeot Citroen Mitsubishi Automobiles Rus. The members of the unions at Ford, Renault and Leonie AG from Germany and France shared their experience of using GFAs.
Participants worked in groups and discussed the purpose, principles and value of GFAs, conditions that should be set for the efficient use of GFAs, as well as the future of GFAs in Russia. The discussion showed that the majority of workers and unions at Russian enterprises are not aware of GFAs or don't know how to use them, because the wording of GFAs is too general. There is a lack of experience on GFA implementation in Russia, and no knowledge of how to put pressure on the employer to follow the GFA. The majority of the participants also mentioned that it is sufficient for Russia to have labour laws that provide for and protect workers' rights, as well as collective bargaining agreements that extend these rights.
Vadim Borisov, regional representative of IndustriALL Global Union in Moscow, and Boris Kravchenko, president of KTR, mentioned a few examples of successful union use of GFAs at Russian branches of TNCs, such as Volkswagen and Renault, to solve the disputes, establish union activity and a social dialogue with the employer.
Oleg Sokolov, a FNPR secretary, emphasised the need to seek union responses to the calls of global capitalism and to study the best tools existing in the world, GFAs being one of them.
This workshop was one of the steps towards trilateral conference on GFAs that will take place in Moscow in November and will be attended by the unions, employers' organizations and governmental agencies.