FNPR will continue to provide humanitarian and solidarity support to workers in the territories liberated during the special operation
Cooperation with the trade union associations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics is the interaction within the framework of basic principles of the trade union movement - unity, solidarity and justice - Dmitry Chuykov, FNPR Secretary, FNPR representative in the Southern Federal District, said in an interview. Earlier, by an executive order of the FNPR President, he had been appointed special representative of the Federation for relations with trade union organizations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
Dmitry Alexandrovich, is this appointment a new task for you, or have you already been involved in this work?
In fact, the FNPR through its affiliates, primarily, but not limited to, the territorial trade union associations of the South of Russia, the central Russia, has long ago and systematically interacted with trade union organizations located in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Actually, from the very first days, when well-known events took place in 2014, these ties began to strengthen. Even at my former place of work in the Astrakhan Regional Association of Trade Union Organizations, on numerous occasions we used to meet with delegations of our colleagues from these territories, in order to exchange experience.
Therefore, this work is in principle not new; however, the situation itself, which is currently developing, requires closer attention. Now, there are more serious tasks. When the evacuation of residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics began in February, the regions of the Southern Federal District - Rostov and Volgograd oblasts – were among the first to take the flow of evacuees. Very serious assistance was provided by trade union associations of these territories: they accommodated people in their children's camps, hotels, health resorts. In addition, in the territory of the Southern Federal District alone, trade union organizations raised humanitarian aid and funds totaling several million rubles, which were transferred to those in need - evacuees and those who remained in the territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.
How closely territorial trade union associations are interacting with the trade unions of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics? What format was it in before?
Over the past 6-7 years, the practice of signing agreements on interaction between the Donetsk and Lugansk trade union centers, and territorial associations of trade union organizations of the Southern Federal District became prevalent. This work is also being carried out in other federal districts. One of the striking examples are the activities of the Rostov trade union association: there are regular meetings of delegations from both sides, the exchange of experience - participation in scientific and practical conferences, youth round tables, and other events.
Interaction is also being established between the industrial trade unions of Russia and the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. An agreement was recently signed between the All-Russian Industry Workers’ Union (ROSPROFPROM) and the relevant trade union of the Lugansk People's Republic. The education and culture workers’ unions are closely interacting. This practice can and should be welcomed and supported.
A few days ago, information became available in the mass media that a branch of the Russian Trade Union Association SOTSPROF was actually formed in the Kherson region. How do you assess this format of interaction? Why doesn't the FNPR work with trade unions in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics like this?
The matter is that the FNPR is always operating within the legal framework. It is said in the Russian Federal Law on Trade Unions that our trade unions and their associations can only consist of organizations operating on the territory of the Russian Federation. These territories, however, have a completely different status in the international law; so, we can in no case accept either the trade unions of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, or the Kherson region as part of the Russian trade union association. This contradicts both, the Russian legislation, and the FNPR Charter, and, by the way, the Charter of SOTSPROF itself. Naturally, Russian trade union associations should act within the framework of the legislation of the Russian Federation. At the same time, we remain true to the principles of the international trade union movement - the unity and solidarity of workers; therefore, we are ready to provide every possible support to trade unions that are truly fighting for the rights and welfare of workers in the territories liberated from Nazi formations.
What are your main tasks and plans as the FNPR special representative regarding the interaction with trade unions in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics?
My main task is to develop integration and humanitarian cooperation between the trade union movements of Russia and the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. We all realize that the situation is not easy now, so humanitarian issues are coming to the fore. First of all, these are joint training programs to exchange experience regarding the work of Russian trade unions and our colleagues. Experience in all areas of activities being implemented by Russian trade unions should be available for study by our colleagues from the trade union associations of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Recently, we invited them to participate in the FNPR youth programs and received a lively response. Leaders of these people's republics trade union associations youth councils have already taken part in the online trade union marathon, organized by the FNPR Youth Council on the occasion of the Russian Youth Day on June 27. We also invited them to participate in the FNPR affiliates information workers distance training. The Russian trade union movement does not stand aside; it supports its brothers in accordance with the spirit of international solidarity of the working people.