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Workers at Komatsu and GM supplier plant in Russia join ITUA

26 July, 2012Two new ITUA locals were created in Russia, one at Komatsu truck plant in Yaroslavl and the other at VLANAKS, GM and Chevrolet supplier in Saint-Petersburg. VLANAKS management was immediately hostile to the union.

50 out of 200 Komatsu workers in Yaroslavl, Russia, joined the Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA), affiliated to the IndustriALL Global Union. On 16 July the leader of the union local informed the company about the creation of the union.

Komatsu plant opened in Yaroslavl in 2010. It produces excavators, dump trucks and forklift trucks. Komatsu Limited is one of the leading construction and mining machinery TNCs with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

ITUA reports that the union at Komatsu will fight for better wages and working conditions.

Another union local was created at VLANAKS in Saint-Petersburg. VLANAKS, part of the Russian manufacturing group, produces bumpers for the GM and Chevrolet plants. However, the company refused to accept union’s registration documents on 17 July.

40 out of 200 workers, mostly women, joined the union. Key issues at the plant are poor wages as well as lack of extra payment for working in harmful conditions, guaranteed by Russian law.

Moreover, the management at VLANAKS started dismissals, despite the fact that it advertises open job positions at the same time. Union activists believe the dismissals are a way of getting rid of the union.

IndustriALL sent letters both to the general director of Komatsu Russia and the general director of VLANAKS, expressing hopes for constructive social partnership at the plants.