Workers demand: Mosgortrans, comply with Russian laws!

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.”

Photos: A. Zubets
The organizers of the rally were the Interregional Public Transport Workers Union (MPROT), United Communist Party (OKP) and Union of Communist Youth (SKM).

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.

On January 13, 2016, a court declared the dismissal of Yuri Dashkov illegal and restored his job. During the trial, it was revealed that the defendants, including senior representatives of the State Unitary Enterprise “Mosgortrans,” not only knowingly violated the job description issued by “Mosgortrans” for its workers, but also orders from the Ministry of Transport of Russia, which clearly spelled out the required work and rest intervals for drivers.
After his return to work, Yuri Dashkov appealed to the depot management to respond to a previously filed written request to provide the primary trade union organization with booth space and access to meeting facilities in accordance with the law on trade unions. The next day, Dashkov’s request was rejected. 

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.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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