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News from affiliates of the Trade Unions of Russia (SPR)

Coronavirus and work.
The main threats and methods of protection.


Coronavirus is in our counties. Goverment announced self-isolation mode.

It is believed that self-isolation measures will cause a terrible economic crisis. Others believe that a crisis was already inevitable, and the coronavirus was announced so that people would not get angry with the government and oligarchs, but with objective circumstances. In any case, employers (at least part) will try to shift the costs of what is happening on the shoulders of workers. What can workers do with this, how to protect themselves from it?

The questions of the publication “Work Compass” are answered by the general inspector of labor of the Union of Trade Unions of Russia – Sergey Khramov:

What should an employee do if they try to force him to quit voluntarily?

S.Kh. Nothing if there is no such desire! I often hear complaints from employees: “I was forced to write a statement on my own…” But how can I “force” to express my will? The threat of dismissing an article and ruining a work book? Let’s speculate. There are only three such articles, in addition to drunkenness and theft, which we will not talk about: for a systematic violation of discipline; for absenteeism; for the immoral act for teachers.

Each of these three main horror stories requires a very complicated procedure from the authorities, accuracy and similarity of authenticity in documents and evidence. All this takes a lot of time and requires efforts from the bosses, carries the risk for the employer of paying the employee forced absenteeism for, as a rule, six months, which will take the court to reinstate the employee. The legal inspectorate of the LSS has extensive experience in successful litigation to reinstate workers ….

At the same time, dismissal “on one’s own” does not threaten the director, and a worker who considers himself happy is faced with problems that the dismissed dismissal does not have. These are difficulties with registration in the employment service and with the forgiveness of interest on the payment of loans, which is provided for “reduced” in many banks.

Almost the same as dismissal “on their own,” is dismissal “by agreement.”

What should an employee do if they try to send him on vacation at his own expense?

S.Kh. Nothing, as well as in the case of dismissal “on their own.”

At the same time, the employee must understand that although the Presidential Decree on non-working April says “with the preservation of wages”, but it does not contain the word “average”. And this means that the norm of part 2 of article 157 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation will be applied: “Downtime for reasons beyond the control of the employer and employee is paid in the amount of at least two-thirds of the tariff rate, salary (official salary), calculated in proportion to the downtime.”

This means that for a “non-working April” the employee will receive not an average salary, but only 2/3 of the salary, without bonuses, allowances and compensations … But for the next non-working May calculation will be based on the average salary for the previous year, t .e. with prizes, this is Art. 112 shopping mall.

But having received a demand for leave at his own expense, the employee in return can bargain. For example, he will agree to the proposal to leave for a month at his own expense, but will offer the director to conclude a counter agreement with him on, for example, paying him benefits in the amount of a monthly salary by the New Year…

Can unofficially employed workers somehow protect their rights?

S.Kh. They can, if they go to court with a lawsuit to establish the fact of an employment relationship with a given employer from the date three months before going to court. (This is the norm of Article 392 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation).

How and where can I complain in quarantine? How can a union help an employee?

S.Kh. You can complain anywhere, but only the free trade union of the Leningrad Union will really help through the primary professional organization created by the workers themselves.

The fact is that the Decree prohibits the dismissal of workers in connection with the coronavirus. By the way, it is forbidden to dismiss and / or discriminate against employees in connection with their union membership. But for my 31 years of work in the trade union, I have not known the case when the director issued an order: “Dismissal of locksmith Sidorov for membership in the trade union”. Sidorov will be fired for anything, but not for union membership and not in connection with the coronavirus! But the decree doesn’t mention the ban on dismissal on other grounds … So the employee will be dismissed allegedly by law.

But the free trade union of the SPR will be able to competently prove to the GIT or the prosecutor’s office that the violation of the rights of workers is carried out by this employer precisely under the guise of “the consequences of the coronavirus”. But more importantly, the union will be able to reasonably negotiate with the owner-employer on the real mechanisms for maintaining the enterprise without significant damage to the workers. And, of course, our union will be able to provide each member of the union with the necessary legal assistance and represent his interests in court in the above situations.

What other violations of labor rights threaten workers in this situation?

S.Kh. I will not say, I do not want to prompt the directors …

Who and how compensates workers for losses from self-isolation? Are measures taken by the state sufficient?

S.Kh. So this is the most important question. I, like the leaders of many other free trade unions, believe that our social state should compensate for the loss of citizens from the multi-trillion reserve fund from which our country scooped up funds to save the banking system and overcome the crisis of 2009, and now it effectively saves state-owned companies from the machinations of the imperialists.

I think that all free trade unions should jointly formulate requirements for the Government of the Russian Federation on the development of compensation mechanisms for workers who lose wages for April due to the absence of the word “average” in the said Decree. These losses, by virtue of the norm of part 2 of article 157 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and with the premium / depremial wage system that has developed at domestic enterprises (optimistically we take the tariff / premium ratio 50/50), will amount to 66% of the average salary. Those. the employee who was charged 60 tr monthly, will find in the payroll for April – accrued: 19,800.

In most other civilized countries, acts on the payment of at least 80% of their salary to employees have already been adopted. What for our case would mean a surcharge of 28,200 rub. (48 000 rub.)

The subject of discussion of a possible mechanism is the payment of compensation directly to employees, or through their employers.

Another possible way to support citizens is to introduce a system of unconditional basic income. Unfortunately, Moscow Mayor S.S.Sobyanin rejected the very idea of ​​cash payments to the population from the budget, saying that budgets would burst. (it’s unnecessarily interested in: and what might not burst …)

What surprises await workers after the end of the self-isolation regime?

S.Kh. I am not Nostradamus and do not have the gift of divination. But I know that the stronger and more united the free trade unions will be, the less painful the consequences of this illness will be for workers and their families!


Alexander Zimbovsky, Work Compass-info