Thursday, November 29, 2007

On the 20th of November workers at the Ford plant in Vsevolozhsk (St. Petersburg Region) started an indefinite strike. This is a rare event in Russia where strikes are usually of only limited duration. About 1.500 out of a total of 2,100 employed at the plant downed tools, stopping assembly of the Ford Focus. The union demand is to raise wages at the plant by over 30% starting march 1, 2008. Management has refused to negotiate until workers resume production. The last strike in Vsevolozhsk lasted just 19 hours and was stopped due to a court decision. this February after the one day strike workers in Vsevolozhsk won a collective bargaining agreement. Very little was agreed to then, and this time workers are determined to fight until they win. The strike is of huge importance in Russia, where in all factories managements refuse to negotiate wages collectively, pretending that this right is not granted by national legislation. Ford workers are therefore at the forefront of the fight for true negotiations. Management at the plant have escalated the conflict, leading to the injury of one worker by police. In many other countries Ford workers are represented by unions, and it is important that such democratic rights become universal. Please help us to break through management ignorance and win not only a decent contract for the Ford workers, but the basic rights for the whole Russian nation. The workers at Ford have called for international support via an email campaign. To read more and join this campaign go to

No comments: