Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 22

Mindful of this year’s presidential election, federal authorities beginning with Boris Yeltsin have produced a flurry of decrees, resolutions, special funds, and high-level personnel changes to grapple with a problem faced by millions of Russian workers: prolonged nonpayment of salaries. According to official statistics, the state as of January 1 owed 13.4 trillion rubles in back wages. Over the course of last year, close to 80 percent of the salary (about 529,000 rubles) of the statistically average industrial worker was not paid on time, with similarly high percentages prevailing in other sectors. President Yeltsin yesterday blamed "low executive discipline" and inefficient structures for the arrears. He added that he was working on a fail-safe system of wage payments to be introduced in March. Until then, arrears apparently will continue to affect federally-budgeted salaries (i.e., in the sectors of agriculture, coal mining, government, defense and security, and in certain parts of the sciences, health, and education sectors), as well as non-federal salaries ( i.e., in that part of Russian industry consisting of stock companies), where managers and officials have found limitless scope for delaying wage payments. (3)

…As Teachers Go on Strike, Miners Plan Work Stoppage.