On April 24th, in Moscow took place the Constituent Congress of the Federation of Unions of Russia, a new all-national union organisation. In total 13 unions and union organisations joined the new federation: ‘Zaschita Truda’, the union of air dispatchers of Russia, the union of aviation engineers, the union of railway workers, ‘Solidarnost’, ‘Uralproneft’, ‘Tiumenproftsenter’ and others. Additionally, the Russian union of dock workers, the union ‘Edinstvo’ of Avtovaz and others attended the congress as observers.
The president of the Russian union of air dispatchers, Sergei Kovalov, was elected chairman of the new federation of unions of Russia. His deputies are Oleg Babitch (‘Zaschita Truda’), Aleksei Chornikh (‘Solidarnost’) and Aleksei Yuzhakov (union of aviation engineers).
Apart from the Statutes, the Congress adopted a Declaration ‘About the main principles of the federation of unions’ and a Resolution ‘About a month of joint actions in support of the social-labour rights of citizens’, which texts are appended below
The Federation calls on all unions to establish contact: +7 095 155 57 01 or via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the main principles of the federation of unions: We, representatives of the union organisations of Russia specified above, declare our will to create a new Union Federation of Russia. In doing so we confirm that: We do not allow the owners of the companies or their representatives to become members of the unions we represent. We agreed that all employees who are in charge of dealing with financial and other resources of the company, with hiring and laying off workers and with issuing orders within the company, are considered to belong to the class of owners and their representatives. This is a general rule, which is hard-coded in the statutes of our Federation, according to which individuals who are engaged in management or are part of the hierarchy of the company’s administration are banned from membership of the union.
We confirm that:
The main goal of the Federation of unions is not to compete with the existing Federation of Independent Unions of Russia (FIUR, bourgeois and pro-government federation of unions note of translator), hence, we do not intend to enter the three-party accords and negotiations with the bourgeoisie (although, in principle, we do not refuse to be competitive). Our goal is to re-create, under the new conditions, an alliance of organised working people to oppose the alliance of the class of owners and also to oppose the capitalist state. We are confident that our steps correspond to the current state of affairs in our country and comply with the needs of the Russian working people and will serve as an effective way of defending their interests.
According to the above stated:
We will create only those structures that are strictly necessary for developing common decisions, for the coordination of joint measures of the organizations represented by us. We will uphold the principle of collective leadership of the Federation and the right of each of the organisations to refuse to comply with the decisions of the Federation if a given decision is not supported by the majority of the organisations we represent. We will not impose severe financial burden on the organisations we represent.
With respect to political parties we uphold:
The principle of free association and participation of members of political organisations and in the life and activities of the organisations forming part of the Federation, in accordance with the statutes of the first. We will not suppress the participation in our organisations and the right of political parties to exercise political agitation as long as the latter stand against the bourgeoisie. However, we do not accept the subjugation of the activity of the unions to the leadership of any political party.
In order to strengthen the principle of the construction union organisations we do not accept the principle of appointment of leading cadre from ‘above’ or from the ‘side’. All the appointments of leading cadre will be performed in accordance with the Statutes of our organisations (only of members of the union and only from ‘below’).
As to the ‘ideology’ accepted by us we advocate the following points:
1. The imperative need of the working people of Russia to have their own organisations independent of the state and capital.
2. We believe that only this type of organisation is in a position to defend the labour rights of the working class
3. We are against the presence in the organizations we represent of racist, chauvinist, nationalist, religious and other views contrary to the defence of the workers’ rights and the organisation of the workers. Nevertheless we do not ban the membership in our organisations of workers who have not completely overcome this type of views.
Symbol of the Federation:
We believe there is no need to pursue a symbol specific to our Federation of unions. Since the times of the first proletarian revolts to the proletarian revolutions, the symbol of the struggle for the rights and freedom of the working people has been the Red flag. We chose the Red flag as our symbol for our ideals and our struggle.
Adopted by the Constituent Congress of the Federation of
Unions of Russia
Moscow, April 24th 2004
Resolution of the Constituent Congress of the Federation of Unions of Russia
About a Month of Joint Actions in Support of the Social-Labour Rights of Citizens
The massive offensive of the bourgeoisie against the social-labour rights of the citizens of Russia can only be stopped by the coordinated, organised and militant actions of collectives, workers, unions and other social organisations and political parties, who stand for the rights of the working people.
The congress decides:
To support the decision adopted by the Russian workers’ committee. To call on all the local organisations of the Federation of Unions of Russia to organise from May 14th to June 14th a month of united joint actions in defence of the social-labour rights and for the restoration of social guarantees.
This month of joint actions should involve disrupting production, running of factory hooters, calling for meetings, demonstrations, picket lines, distribution of pamphlets and other forms of protest.
April 24th 2004
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