Tag Archives: russia

Russia: Building workers’ union and employers’ groups call jointly for health and safety to be an ILO fundamental right

Unions from Central Asia and Eastern Europe prepare for International Workers’ Memorial Day | BWI

On 22 April, trade union leaders from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine held a virtual meeting to discuss their participation in BWI’s workers’ memorial week campaign. They also discussed lockdown measures in their countries, necessary courses of action to take to protect workers’ rights and income, and constraints on and opportunities for trade union actions during and after the pandemic.

“In Georgia, we witness an outstanding shift in how workers are perceived. Workers are on the frontlines of the economy. We are not on a total lockdown, so some of the building materials companies and construction sites continue to work. Constructions workers are building hospitals to help overcome the pandemic crisis. We are not allowed to do safety inspections on the construction sites, but we keep in contact with our members, provide them education and information materials on COVID-19 safety measures, and urge employers to comply with national and international standards” – said Marina Kurtanidze, President of Georgian Building and Forestry Workers Trade Union.

“In Kazakhstan, since 20 April 20, all construction sites are back to work under the condition of strict compliance with COVID-19 measures. This happened on the eve of workers’ memorial week and our trade union produced a campaign video to call on employers to comply with safety measures on construction sites, including physical distance, face masks for every worker, safe transportation and accommodation, sanitizers and handwashing stations, sanitation of work tools and workplaces, and daily health screening for all workers”. – according to Kuseyn Esengazin, president of the Kazakhstan Building and Communal Workers Trade Union.

“In Kyrgyzstan, the lockdown is quite strict, but some construction companies and construction sites continue to work. We work individually with our members to provide them legal support and we have organized a webinar to inform members about safety measures on construction sites and workers’ rights. We take this COVID crisis as an opportunity to revive labour inspection, which was almost destroyed” – said Eldiar Karachalov, vice president of the Kyrgyzstan Building Workers Trade Union.

“In Ukraine, our top priority is to ensure safety of construction workers and secure workers incomes. Unfortunately, during these difficult times, some of the employers don’t pay workers’ wages, explaining that this is due to the COVID-19 crisis. This put our members in extremely vulnerable situations, as they get neither their wages nor unemployment benefits. We are preparing public actions, concerning vulnerability and safety measures, to draw public attention to this unacceptable situation”. – said Vasyl Andreyev, PROFBUD president.

“In Moldova, we are in very difficult situation. The government announced a state of emergency in the country. All decisions are to be made by the State of Emergency Council. Trade unions and employers are not included in this Council, so government makes unilateral decisions which are not in favour of working people. Almost all construction sites are closed with workers sent home without wages. We are using every opportunity to call on the government to consider trade union positions to secure workers income and protect jobs” – said Victor Talmach, SINDICONS president.

“In Russia, wood and forestry sectors continue to operate. Some of the companies in the wood sector had to partially shut down their production due to lack of demand. In this respect, workers income and health and safety measures on the worksites are our key priority. At nearly every workplace, what are called Antivirus committees were organized where trade union representatives are present. We want to ensure that all the decisions related to COVID-19 measures at the work place are made with consideration of the trade union position” – said Denis Zhuravlev, president of the Russian Timber Workers’ Trade Union.

BWI news report.

Russia: Timber workers send a message of solidarity for Workers’ Memorial Day

The Russian Timber Workers Union has sent 28 April solidarity messages in English, French, Spanish and German. See the YouTube video and read the messages below:

IWMD : Russian Timber Workers’ Union

Also see: Safe and Decent Work for Russian Wood and Forestry Workers


Hello, my name is Julia Vertigelova. I work as Health and Safety instructor at the biggest wood and paper factory in Russia. I join the call to stand up for safe work. I believe that the main task of my work and work of my colleagues is to save workers’ lives. We have to teach people how to think about their safety, we need to help people to have safe working conditions. And our main goal is to do everything we can to make people come back home after their work with no injuries and professional diseases.

Good Day, I am Alexander Smirnov, president of the Komi Republic regional branch of Russian Timber Workers Union. I stand up for safe work. We have to remember about safe work on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Hello, my name is Olga Lebezkina. I am the president of the IKEA Industry company level trade union.  I stand up for the safe work and remember workers on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Dear colleagues and friends, my name is Denis Zhuravlev, I am the president of Russian Timber Workers Union. On behalf of our member I am saying that we all stand up for safe work. We fully support BWI Campaign for safe work.


Bonjour, je m’appelle Julia Vertigelova. Je suis formatrice en sécurité et santé au travail au sein de la plus grande usine russe de bois et de papier. Je m’associe à l’appel en faveur de la sécurité au travail. Ma mission principale, ainsi que celle de mes collègues, est de sauver la vie des travailleurs. Nous devons leur apprendre à assurer leur sécurité et les aider à obtenir des conditions de travail sûres. Et notre objectif prioritaire est de tout faire pour qu’ils regagnent leur domicile, à la fin de la journée, sans blessures ni maladies professionnelles.

Bonjour, je suis Alexander Smirnov, président de l’antenne régionale du Syndicat russe des travailleurs du bois en République de Komi. Je soutiens la sécurité au travail. Nous devons aborder ce thème lors de la Journée mondiale de la sécurité et de la santé au travail (également Journée internationale de commémoration des travailleuses et des travailleurs morts ou blessés au travail).

Bonjour, je m’appelle Olga Lebezkina. Je suis présidente du syndicat d’entreprise d’IKEA. Je me joins à la lutte pour la sécurité au travail et souhaite que l’on honore les travailleurs lors de la Journée mondiale de la sécurité et de la santé au travail.

Chers collègues et amis, je suis Denis Zhuravlev, président du Syndicat russe des travailleurs du bois. Au nom de tous nos membres, je me joins à la lutte pour la sécurité au travail. Nous appuyons sans réserve la campagne de l’IBB en faveur de la sécurité au travail.


Hola, mi nombre es Julia Vertigelova. Trabajo como instructora de seguridad y salud ocupacional en la mayor fábrica de papel y productos de madera de Rusia. Me uno al llamamiento en favor de la defensa de la seguridad en el trabajo. Tengo la convicción de que la principal tarea de mi trabajo y el de mis compañeros es salvar la vida de los trabajadores. Debemos enseñar a la gente a pensar en su seguridad y ayudarla a trabajar en condiciones seguras. Nuestro principal objetivo es hacer todo lo posible para que, al finalizar la jornada laboral, los trabajadores vuelvan a casa sin lesiones ni enfermedades profesionales.

Buenos días, soy Alexander Smirnov, presidente de la delegación regional del Sindicato Ruso de Trabajadores de la Madera en la República de Komi. Quiero abogar por la seguridad en el trabajo. En el Día Internacional en Memoria de los Trabajadores Fallecidos y Heridos, tenemos el deber de tener presente la seguridad en el trabajo.

Hola, me llamo Olga Lebezkina. Soy la presidenta del sindicato de trabajadores de IKEA Industry. Deseo alzar mi voz en favor de la seguridad en el trabajo y recordar a los trabajadores en el Día Internacional en Memoria de los Trabajadores Fallecidos y Heridos.

Estimados compañeros y amigos, mi nombre es Denis Zhuravlev, y soy el presidente del Sindicato Ruso de Trabajadores de la Madera. En nombre de nuestros miembros, quiero manifestar nuestro compromiso con la seguridad en el trabajo. Apoyamos plenamente la campaña de la Internacional de Trabajadores de la Construcción y la Madera (ICM).


Hallo, mein Name ist Julia Vertigelova. Ich arbeite als Arbeitsschutz-Ausbilderin bei Russlands größtem Holz- und Papierwerk. Auch ich schließe mich der Forderung nach sicheren Arbeitsbedingungen an. Nach meiner Überzeugung besteht der Kern meiner Aufgabe und der meiner Fachkolleginnen und -kollegen darin, Sicherheit und Gesundheit von Leib und Leben der Arbeitnehmer zu schützen. Wir müssen – ganz allgemein – ein stärkeres Bewusstsein für das Thema Sicherheit am Arbeitsplatz schaffen und parallel dazu der gesamten Arbeitnehmerschaft zu sicheren Arbeitsbedingungen verhelfen. Hauptziel und -zweck unserer Tätigkeit ist es, alles in unserer Macht Stehende zu tun, um sicherzustellen, dass jeder Mann und jede Frau am Ende des Arbeitstages wohlbehalten – das heißt ohne Verletzungen und ohne berufsbedingte Erkrankungen – nach Hause kommt.

Guten Tag, ich bin Alexander Smirnov, Präsident der Regionalzweigstelle der Russischen Holzarbeitergewerkschaft für die Republik Komi. Ich setze mich für Sicherheit am Arbeitsplatz ein. Besonders der Internationale Arbeitergedenktag gibt Anlass, das Thema Arbeitsschutz einmal mehr in den Vordergrund zu stellen.

Hi, mein Name ist Olga Lebezkina. Ich bin Vorsitzende der Gewerkschaft auf Unternehmensebene bei IKEA Industry. Ich unterstütze sichere Arbeitsbedingungen und spreche mich nicht nur am Internationalen Arbeitergedenktag dafür aus.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, liebe Freunde, mein Name ist Denis Zhuravlev, ich bin Präsident der Russischen Holzarbeitergewerkschaft. Im Namen unserer Mitglieder darf ich sagen, dass wir alle für sichere Arbeitsbedingungen eintreten. Wir unterstützen die BHI-Kampagne für Sicherheit und Gesundheit am Arbeitsplatz in jeder Beziehung.