The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia was founded in 1990 as a national trade union centre independent of the state, political and business structures.
General Council is guiding the FNPR activities between congresses. The General Council convenes at least twice a year. The FNPR Executive Committee is elected by the FNPR General Council for the day-to-day management of the Federation's activities. Mikhail Shmakov has been elected the President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia since 1993.
The program of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia "For a Fair Economy" adopted in 2019 by the Xth FNPR Congress stipulates long-term objectives of the Federation. They include bringing wages in Russia to the average European level, providing for the decent employment of the able-bodied population, safe working conditions, observation of public social guarantees, decent pensions, higher living standards of workers and their families. Trade unions played a key role in establishing a minimum wage on the entire territory of the Russian Federation at the level of the subsistence minimum of the working age population.
At expert level the FNPR is involved in drafting of federal and regional laws relating to social and labour spheres, in observation of trade unions’ and workers’ rights. The FNPR has been actively influencing the process of improving the Russian legislation particularly through its representatives in the inter-factional parliamentary group "Solidarity" in the State Duma (the lower chamber of Parliament).
Major episodes of this work were the adoption and further improvement of the Russian Federation’s Labour Code, the ratification of fundamental ILO Conventions, such as C029 Forced Labour Convention, C087 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, C098 Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, C100 Equal Remuneration Convention, C105 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, C111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, C138 Minimum Age Convention, C182 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention , as well as the adoption of other laws.
- The FNPR legal experts are permanently involved in judicial sittings, settling labour disputes and conflicts. There are 14-15 thousand labour related cases considered annually, with more than 90 percent of decisions being adopted in favour of employees.
- The FNPR associates its strategic course with a full implementation of the social partnership mechanism. It is based on the principle of signing collective bargaining agreements at the enterprise level, as well as concluding industrial and regional tripartite agreements. Collective bargaining agreements are signed virtually at all enterprises where the functioning trade union organisations are primarily affiliated with the FNPR.
- The FNPR has been playing a leading role in the activities of the trade union party at the Russian Tripartite Commission on Regulation of Social and Labour Relations (RTC). Mikhail Shmakov, the FNPR President, is the Coordinator of the RTC’s trade union party. General Agreements between national associations of trade unions, national associations of employers, and the Government of the Russian Federation are regularly signed within the framework of the Commission’s activities. The last such agreement has been concluded for 2018-2020.
Millions of Russian citizens annually participate in the 1st of May marches and rallies organised by the FNPR. During these activities trade union position on crucial social and economic issues is brought to the attention of employers and government.
Largely due to trade unions protest actions it became possible to restrain the uncontrolled growth of tariffs for public utilities and energy, to increase the level of remuneration of labour, to prohibit use of agency work, to force employers and state authorities to negotiate on issues of employment, occupational health and safety, public social guarantees.
The FNPR Xth Congress was held in 2019. Delegates considered a number of fundamental issues related to the improvement of the trade union performance and decided to introduce a number of amendments to the FNPR Constitution. The main purpose of the amendments is to strengthen union ranks; modernise the structure in accordance with the changes in the modern economy; to ensure training of highly qualified trade union activists and leaders; to create a strong financial basis and high performance discipline.
The FNPR has an extensive system of trade union education. It includes two higher education institutions – The Academy of Labour and Social Relations in Moscow and The Humanitarian University of Trade Unions in St. Petersburg. The network of their branches is currently functioning in dozens of Russian regions. It also includes the Institute of Trade Union Movement in Moscow and 41 training and methodology centers of trade unions countrywide.
The FNPR affiliates have a developed system of information resources at their disposal, including 112 of their own publications, and 31 applications published in non-union media. There are 21 union TV and radio programs, as well as 115 internet sites in the arsenal of the FNPR information system. The official FNPR printed media is the central trade union newspaper "Solidarnost" (Solidarity).
The FNPR has been maintaining fraternal relations with national trade union centers from 70 countries of the world.
The FNPR is the largest affiliated organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) of the ITUC. Mikhail Shmakov, the FNPR President, is the ITUC Vice-President and the member of the ITUC Executive Bureau. For two terms (2007-2015) Mikhail Shmakov was elected the PERC President. Since 2016 he has been elected the PERC Vice-president.
The FNPR has been actively cooperating with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). For the last decades the FNPR leadership representative has always been a member of the ILO Governing Body.
The FNPR is an affiliate of the General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU), which represents trade unions of the CIS countries. Mikhail Shmakov is the GCTU President.
The FNPR supports the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 4th Congress motto "Building Workers Power: Change the Rules", aimed at strengthening the international trade union movement.
For this purpose, the FNPR will continue:
- interaction with the ITUC and PERC and work in their committees and trade union networks;
- participation in the activity of the Workers' Group in the Governing Body of the ILO;
- implementation of the FNPR cooperation programs with the ILO Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia , as well as of the Programme of Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the ILO (current one is for 2017-2020);
- participation in the activities of the Labour 20 (L20);
- cooperation with trade unions of the BRICS countries within the framework of the BRICS Trade Union Forum;
- support the activities of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC-OECD)
- cooperation within the Baltic Sea Trade Union Network (BASTUN).
FNPR is the largest trade union center in Russia and one of the key players in the international trade union movement. FNPR preserves more than century-old traditions of the labour and trade union movement of Russia, actively advocates legitimate rights and interests of union members, of all people in Russia and rightfully occupies a key position in the civil society.