[Marxism] Statement by Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) on Planned Massive Layoffs at the Ford Vsevolozhsk Plant (Leningrad Region, Russia)

Thomas Campbell avvakum at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 01:40:29 MDT 2014


April 2, 2014

*Statement by Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA) on Planned
Massive Layoffs at the Ford Vsevolozhsk Plant (Leningrad Region, Russia)*

Management at Ford Motor Company JSC [Ford Sollers] has announced they will
begin making massive layoffs at the Ford Vsevolozhsk plant. If these plans
are realized, around seven hundred people, meaning every other production
worker, will lose their jobs.

Management decided to confront the trade union and the plant's workforce
with a fait accompli. On April 1, management sent out a press release about
the planned layoffs to the media, only later bothering to inform workers.
Without consulting with the existing trade union organizations at the
plant, management  presented workers with a so-called voluntary dismissal
program, which includes five months' salary for workers who quit their jobs
voluntarily.

The ITUA regards Ford's actions as a cynical, shady game that contradicts
the principles of social partnership. We see in them only the desire of
capitalists to shift the consequences of the crisis onto the backs of
ordinary working people.

Management has not exhausted all the possibilities for minimizing the
social impact of the crisis, for preserving jobs and ensuring workers are
fairly compensated for the harm caused to them.

We believe that massive layoffs are not necessary to the company's success.
We will fight for every single job at the plant and for nothing less than a
full year's salary as compensation for employees who quit voluntarily. The
dismissal of each individual worker must be agreed with the trade union. We
are ready to back up our demands by all possible means, including strikes
and protests, as we did in 2007.

Don't cry -- organize!

Alexei Etmanov

Chair, Workers Association Interregional Trade Union

Member, Leningrad Region Legislative Assembly

Originally published in Russian at:
http://mpra.info/profsoyuses/ford-profsouz/news/1649-Zaiavlenie-profsoyuza-MPRA-o-massovih-sokrasheniiah-na-zavode-Ford

_____

More on the planned layoffs at Ford Russia (Ford Sollers):

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fords-russian-joint-venture-cuts-about-950-jobs

On the 2007 strike at Ford Vsevolozhsk, led by Alexei Etmanov:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ford-workers-in-russia-strike/

A perhaps needlessly optimistic but informative recent article on the
Russian independent trade union movement:

http://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/grigory-tumanov/now-im-union-man

The bigger economic and political picture, as painted by Sergei Guriev, a
liberal Russian economist and former rector of the New Economic School, now
in exile in Paris:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/939659ae-b67d-11e3-b230-00144feabdc0.html



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