More strikes in Russia

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Not everybody in Russia would agree with Mr. Schmakov. Khusain Tekayev of the Prosecutor General's Office said prosecution agencies uncovered more than 113,000 violations of the law on labour protection and 716,000 violations of people's labour rights, more than half of which concerned remuneration issues, in 2007.

Now the number of Rusian workers striking for higher pay is rising. According to a recent report (Interfax April 30) Russian employers significantly under record the number of strikes at their enterprises in official reports, a Public Chamber member said.

"The number of conflicts is growing, but they are not registered officially," Public Chamber labor relations and pension support commission head Oleg Neterebsky said during public hearings at the Public Chamber.

Official data submitted by employers show that there were from 2 to 11 strikes involving about 1,000 people in 2007, the Public Chamber quoted Neterebsky as saying. However, statistics obtained by trade unions directly from employees indicate that Russia saw 1,072 labor disputes involving 470,000 people in 2007, he said.

Employers "succeed in finding sophisticated methods to rig the law, and the number of people working for the Russian labor inspectorates makes it possible to comprehensively inspect an enterprise no more frequently than once in 32 years," Neterebsky said.

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