Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 207

Under the rallying cry "for work, wages and social guarantees," workers will launch protest actions across much of Russia today. According to the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FITUR), some 10 million workers will take part in various demonstrations. (Interfax, November 4) The workers’ main complaint involves wage arrears, which the Labor Ministry reports have increased by 2.7 times this year and totaled 43.1 trillion rubles at the end of October. (Interfax, November 2) On November 2, a three-party commission formed by representatives of the government, employers, and workers agreed to a schedule for the repayment of wages. A FITUR official observed, however, that similar accords had not been implemented in the past. (Itar- Tass, November 4) Russia’s labor minister, meanwhile, criticized businessmen and local authorities who had failed to honor their payment obligations, despite having the means to do so. He singled out Novgorod, Dagestan and Perm as the worst offenders. (Itar-Tass, November 2) In an interview published yesterday, Finance Minister Aleksander Livshits denied accusations that delays in the payment of wages to state-funded employees constituted a deliberate attempt to control inflation while linking wage arrears to problems faced in tax collection. (Interfax, November 2)

Luzhkov Promises to Help Grozny.