By Denis Sommer
On January 26 at the office of State Unitary Enterprise “Mosgortrans” in Moscow, a picket was held under the slogan, “Mosgortrans continues to disrespect the laws of the Russian Federation and risk the lives of passengers.”
The crowd was addressed by OKP First Secretary Vladimir Lakeev and co-chair of the MPROT independent trade union Alexander Desyatimirik.
Chants included: “Hands off independent trade union MPROT!,” “Mosgortrans, comply with the laws of the Russian Federation,” “No discrimination against MPROT and chairman Yuri Dashkov at Bauman Depot,” and “No discrimination at the expense of workers and transportation safety!”
This protest was preceded by a history of continuing discrimination faced by the leadership of the independent trade union MPROT. Mosgortrans and Bauman trolley depot management violated the collective rights of workers on October 19, 2015, when MPROT chair Yuri Dashkov was illegally fired on trumped-up charges of “absenteeism.” The depot administration violated the Labor Code of the Russian Federation many times. Before us is a vivid case of discrimination against an employee for his activism in the workplace and belonging to an independent trade union organization.
The urgent need for an independent trade union was felt at the end of 2015 by most employees of Mosgortrans, who have not been paid their final wage period for the year and bonuses. The chiefs of the enterprise are willing to fabricate mass punishment against workers in order to have an excuse not to pay bonuses and to cut wages and vacation. This distracts attention from their negligence in relation to the state of the rolling stock. Car accidents caused by Mosgortrans vehicles have become a regular feature of the news.