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Union campaign at Bashneft a success

28 February, 2013Russian Chemical Workers’ Union (RCWU), an IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, reports that the international solidarity campaign brought concrete results—pressure on union locals in Orenburg and Ufa, Russia, stopped, and a union representative was included in collective bargaining negotiations.

On 27 February the Russian Chemical Workers’ Union (RCWU) reported that the international solidarity campaign proved to be a success with the pressure on both union locals in Orenburg and Ufa, Russia, stopped, and the president of RCWU local in Ufa Zumara Ganieva  included in the all-company collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations committee.

The negotiations led to a collective agreement for 2013-2015, which includes guarantees for trade union activity.

Meanwhile pressure on RCWU locals at Bashneft in Orenburg and Ufa stopped. Union activists are no longer forced to quit the union and join the company-controlled Labour Council. The locals are strarting to get back the union dues, which were blocked by the company for some time.

Earlier in October 2012 when the companies Bashkirnefteproduct in Ufa and Orenburgnefteproduct in Orenburg became part of the parent company Bashneft, the management refused to renegotiate the CBA with the RCWU locals and challenged their right to collective bargaining.

The administration refused to recognize union locals and claimed that the CBA would be negotiated with a Labour Council, created by the company itself.

RCWU responded by holding public actions in Oregnburg, Ufa and Moscow, and launched a national solidarity campaign (In Russian) http://www.trud.org/3/11000.html with the help of the Federation of the Independent Trade Unions of Russia.

IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina sent a letter to the Bashneft top managers, urging them to withdraw from anti-union tactics and engage in good-faith negotiations with the union, and IndustriALL Regional Office staff joined RCWU activists in picketing Bashneft office in Moscow.

Thousands of people sent letters of protest to Bashneft management via TAKE ACTION page on IndustriALL website.

RCWU president Alexander Sitnov offered his sincere thanks to all unions and other organizations, including IndustriALL, which offered their solidarity and helped to resolve the conflict.

"Your participation was an enormous help to us. Thank you," said Alexander Sitnov.