12 January 2018: On January 10, 2018, the Saint-Petersburg City Court upheld the claim of the City Prosecutor’s Office seeking the dissolution of the Inter-Regional Trade Union “Workers’ Association” (MPRA), an affiliate of the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR). As of now, the Court has yet to produce the motivational part of its decision. Yet, based on the analysis of the administrative plaintiff’s arguments for the case and realising the utmost significance of this development for the trade union movement of our country, the KTR Executive Committee states its disagreement with the Court’s judgment.
In the course of the hearing, the Court unreasonably rejected the request of the Confederation of Labour of Russia to allow the trade union association (KTR) to take part in the litigation as an interested person on the side of the MPRA. Eventually, only lawyers of the KTR Legal Department could participate in the trial as representatives of the administrative defendant (MPRA).
During the trial, the MPRA representatives produced evidence, irrefutably showing that the claimant’s allegations of the KTR affiliate engaging in some “non-statutory” activities were completely without grounds. Moreover, during the court hearing, the Prosecutor’s Office failed to substantiate its allegations of “numerous irremediable and grave violations of the effective legislation” which had formed the basis of the plaintiff’s claim that the MPRA should be dissolved.
We resolutely denounce the attempts of the Prosecutor’s Office attempts to present the solidarity interactions between the MPRA and the IndustriALL Global Union as actions whose consequences could potentially be linked to recognising the trade union organisation as an entity functioning as a “foreign agent.”
The actions of the Prosecutor’s Office and the City Court of Saint-Petersburg constitute a most blatant violation of trade union rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Federal Law “On Trade Unions, Their Rights, and Guarantees of Their Activity”, and the international commitments of the Russian Federation in the area of labour relations enshrined in the ratified Conventions of the International Labour Organisation. The judgment of the Saint-Petersburg City Court concerning the Inter-Regional Trade Union “Workers’ Association” will be appealed in the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Besides, the KTR shall use all available national and international mechanisms of labour rights protection, including the fundamental workers’ right to freedom of association.
The Inter-Regional Trade Union “Workers’ Association” continues its activities as a recognised, representative, self-governing trade union with all the rights it enjoys under the laws of the Russian Federation. KTR declares its absolute support of its affiliate and solidarity with the Union’s elected leaders, members, and activists. The Confederation shall provide all necessary legal, methodological, and resource assistance to the MPRA required for the normal functioning of the organisation.
Confederation of Labour of Russia