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Program Declaration of the Confederation of Labor of Russia
The trade union movement in Russia is going through a difficult period. Hiding behind the economic crisis, entrepreneurs launched an offensive against the labor rights of workers, seeking to increase working hours, abolish the few social benefits that have survived since the Soviet era, exerting pressure on workers' activists, including using openly criminal techniques. There is also administrative pressure against trade union organizations. Workers' associations are also under pressure from the State. Illegal dismissals are becoming a mass practice, only a small part of which is canceled by the court. The Labor Code, which openly discriminates against workers and their organizations, is already being attacked by entrepreneurs seeking to legalize even more barbaric forms of exploitation, including a proposal to return to a ten-hour or even twelve-hour working day. The right to strike has actually been eliminated. Other opportunities for legitimate protest have been minimized — through rallies, pickets and demonstrations. Job insecurity has become the norm of today's Russian society. The social policy of the state continues to develop within the framework of neoliberal ideas, which are almost never revised, despite their obvious inadequacy of the current socio-economic situation and the needs of society. New forms of exploitation that have come from abroad are actively used, for example, the notorious "borrowed labor". All this happens with the tacit connivance of traditional trade unions. At the same time, the freedom of action of new trade unions created by the employees themselves is noticeably limited by the Labor Code.

In order to change the situation, it is not enough to ask for help from the state and appeal to the conscience of employers. The trade unions themselves must become a force that can — at the All—Russian level - make them reckon with themselves and respect themselves. To do this, it is necessary to unite — the creation of a truly unified confederation, which includes the majority of trade unions, independent of government to capital, consistently standing up for the protection of the interests of wage labor, their joint work at all levels, unity of action, practical solidarity. There is a need to unite the material resources, as well as the intellectual and human resources of real trade unions, which would make it possible to solve the tasks facing our movement more effectively.

Despite the problems and contradictions of the movement, serious prospects are opening up for it today. The movement covers those areas in which previously it could not boast of special success (for example, the journalistic, banking community, film and television workers' collectives, enterprises of many multinational corporations). The number of activists is growing. Millions of workers, today deprived of their own class organization, are increasingly aware that left to themselves, alone, they will not be able to protect their rights, achieve a decent salary and self-respect. The neoliberal policy in the social and labor sphere, especially ineffective and often disastrous in times of crisis, makes many workers abandon the idea of protection and support from the state, change the model of labor behavior, no longer rely on the goodwill and conscience of the authorities. It becomes clear that the protection of labor rights remains solely a matter of self-organization of the workers themselves.

We have many tasks ahead of us. Difficult, often seeming almost impossible. The temptation is great to postpone their decision until better times. However, today an employee often has no one to turn to for protection, except for truly independent trade union structures. We are not afraid of large-scale tasks and will not back down before the pressure of the authorities and owners, defending the interests of labor. We have withstood the test of the crisis and are ready to move forward.

Labor and capital

Russia, on the threshold of a new decade of the XXI century, is still forced to face the consequences of problems that were not resolved back in the early 90s of the twentieth century. In the 2000s, Russia was touched by another wave of reforms that eliminated those features of the socio-legal system inherited from the USSR, which were recognized as positive by the majority of citizens focused on the implementation of the principles of the welfare state. At the same time, a number of negative features of the late Soviet reality turned out to be surprisingly tenacious. They have perfectly integrated into the new capitalist reality.

Traditional trade unions, which received the definition of "official" in the post-Soviet period and have remained almost unchanged since the Soviet era, were not initially focused on protecting workers' rights, performing the functions of the "department for social affairs and human resources" of the enterprise administration. At the same time, the majority of workers retained the habit that social issues are solved by the state from above. Despite the fact that the Russian authorities publicly stated that they did not recognize most of their previous social obligations, the population continued to wait for help from the government by inertia. This state of society did not contribute to the development of real trade unions. At the enterprises of the private sector, there were relations of overexploitation, which was voluntary, since in the country, especially in the provinces, the number of jobs with wages more or less corresponding to the prevailing level of social needs sharply decreased. The growing influence of the bureaucracy narrowed the field in which employees could count on the protection of the law and the judiciary. The bureaucratic system, not interested in public and open resolution of any conflicts, began to form conditions that complicated the development of any public structures independent of the state. Employees had fewer and fewer chances to protect their social and labor rights.

In modern Russia, the relations of labor and capital are not very different from those that existed in the Western countries of the era of early capitalism. In this regard, Russian society has turned out to be a kind of vanguard of the neoliberal reaction, which all over the world seeks to destroy the gains of the welfare state achieved by workers during the XIX—XX century, to return economic relations to the norms of the free market that prevailed during the time of the undivided and unrestricted domination of capital.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was a signal for the global revenge of capital, which seeks to take away from hired workers most of the concessions won during the stubborn struggle of previous generations. The onslaught of capital on workers not only leads to the collapse of the welfare state, but also undermines the foundations of democracy, turning the majority of the population into voiceless and disenfranchised performers. There can be no political democracy without social rights.

Anti-social policy at the state level is complemented at the enterprise level by severe pressure on employees. Among the relatively new type of such antisocial practices "imported" by Russia from the West is the notorious practice of "borrowed labor", when a worker is listed at one place of work, but is actually employed at another (no one is responsible for his safety, working conditions, social package). At the same time, the irresponsibility of the owners is directly proportional to their proximity to the state, when officials of all levels do not even try to pretend that they are disinterested intermediaries between workers and entrepreneurs. In our country, the trade union movement is opposed not just by capital, but by capital closely connected with the state bureaucracy, often under its control.

KTR and economic globalization

Today, all over the world, the trade union movement is solving several important tasks to protect the rights of workers. This is, first of all, the protection of the labor rights of employees in negotiations with the employer and, if necessary, in court or when considering the issue with state inspection bodies, legal support for employees. Equally important is the struggle to improve the social status of workers, ensuring occupational safety and industrial safety. Trade unions also advocate the development of industrial democracy in enterprises. In Russia, in the conditions of legal arbitrariness, mass violation of labor rights, the dictate of the administration and the habit of passivity of the majority of employees that has not been overcome, the demand for workers' self-government may seem too bold and premature. However, only by putting forward a principled strategic demand, we can achieve radical changes for the better, become a force promoting social progress of society, moving forward history.

The specific features of our country, complicating the work of trade unions, making it more difficult and risky, are only an excuse for us to put forward more decisive demands and strengthen our solidarity. After all, solidarity is the key to solving social problems. Two decades of capitalist development in Russia have convinced us and together with us a significant part of the working people that only through self-organization and joint actions, only through the formation of strong and truly independent trade unions, it is possible to resist the dictates of capital that has grown together with the state.

Russian society suffers from a lack of solidarity, from a lack of skills of joint action and organized struggle. This is the reason for the weak position of labor in relation to capital, the helplessness of citizens in relation to officials, the backwardness of social relations. And we are determined to change the situation by our actions, to break the addiction to passive patience and endless waiting. The workers do not need gifts from the "bosses", but victories won by their own struggle.

Neoliberal economists and officials assure workers that they have no choice. "You are obliged to submit to what is and what we still want to get from you," they tell us. For three decades, since the crisis of the 1970s, which was the hardest for capitalism, capital has been robbing workers of their gains everywhere. All this is declared progress, and resistance to the policy of cutting our incomes, rights and freedoms is the ignorance of conservative proletarians.

Ideologists serving the interests of capital insist that wage reduction is almost the only way of economic survival in the modern world. Meanwhile, wages of a significant part of Russians are already approaching the minimum level below which, under the existing conditions, it is simply impossible to reproduce their labor force.

The competition of cheap goods from East Asian countries has dealt a blow not only to countries with expensive labor, but also to poor countries with extremely cheap labor. Worse, countries with cheap labor have suffered even more from this competition. The reason for this state of affairs is that wages are only one of many and, moreover, not the main factor determining the price of goods on the world market. Of great importance are the scale of production (the larger the batch, the cheaper it is), the quality of management, the availability of global distribution networks and ease of access to markets. The Asian "miracle" was carefully planned and organized by multinational corporations, not least in order to weaken the position of organized labor in the West and in other regions of the world. And Russian multinational companies integrated into international financial networks are part of this system, working not for the interests of the country, but for their own in accordance with the logic of capital accumulation in these networks. There is no reason to hope that by lowering wages and lowering the standard of living of workers, it will be possible to achieve an economic recovery. On the contrary, it is the cheapness of labor in Russia that reduces the incentives of entrepreneurs to introduce new equipment, improve labor organization, improve the quality of management, introduce new products and search for new markets. Only a radical increase in wages can reverse this trend, forcing capital to search for more effective management and technological solutions. And only the pressure of the public sector becomes the constant factor that irreversibly changes the balance of forces between workers and capitalists in the labor market. That is why ideologists and defenders of the interests of capital in every way seek the destruction of the public sector and its privatization. That is why we advocate and will continue to advocate for its expansion and strengthening.

Globalization, right-wing ideologues explained, means progress, and everything corporations want, they should immediately receive. But globalization has not become the road to the unification of the world, the flourishing of humanism and democracy. It provided unprecedented privileges to multinational corporations, expanded the freedom of movement of capital and goods, but did not give workers such freedoms. She demanded our rights from us under the pretext that otherwise we would not be able to stand in "free competition". The only thing that the workers could get from the neoliberal "unification" of the world was the experience of their foreign comrades, sometimes very valuable. The whole world has become a huge factory, but those workers who stand resolutely for their interests achieve better working conditions than those who are always ready to please entrepreneurs.

Back in early 2008, all officials and almost all experts assured: there can be no crisis, the neoliberal order is invulnerable, it is rational and cost-effective. We were only required to obediently follow the will of the wise market "laws". The strength of the liberal order turned out to be a myth. For the first time in many decades, world capitalism has found itself in such a severe crisis. And the main thing that he revealed was the wrongness of those who demanded more and more victims from the workers.

Our choice is not submission, but a struggle for better working conditions, for more earnings, greater opportunities and free time. We want to improve our lives, expand our rights and freedoms, not take them away from us. And we understand that nothing can be achieved without a struggle. The trade unions of Russia, united in the KTR, are part of the world trade union movement. At the peak of the globalization of capital and goods, which is taking away our gains, we will strengthen the solidarity of workers from all countries of the planet.

KTR and the economic situation

The end of 2008 and almost the whole of 2009 were marked by an economic crisis. In 2010, the situation began to improve little by little, but there was no radical change. Both the global and Russian economies are affected by the crisis. And in order to overcome this crisis, it is not enough to allocate billions of rubles and dollars of state funds to the owners of the largest corporations or to "patch holes" of social budgets in an emergency, while forcing workers to tighten their belts, reducing their needs. The economic order, built on a policy of reducing the cost of labor, dismantling the welfare state and reducing workers' rights, is in crisis. And this crisis will not be overcome until the entire model of social development is changed.

The deeper the crisis, the greater the pressure on the employee from employers. In conditions of growing unemployment, employees are often forced to compromise with the employer, avoiding long and principled confrontations. The spread of panic and expectant passivity among workers restricts the activities of trade unions. However, even in a crisis, there are significant opportunities for the development of trade unions. After all, the crisis not only scares and ruins people, but also teaches them, demonstrating the true logic and meaning of class contradictions, their significance in the lives of all of us and each one individually. A social demand is being formed for trade unions that fully protect the rights of employees in those industries where the collective solidarity of employees is greatest — for example, in mechanical engineering. Crisis is a school of solidarity for those who want not just to survive, but also to win. And already today, trade unions are emerging not only among industrial workers, but also in other groups of employees.

Hoping for a speedy resolution of the crisis, the authorities and corporate elites seek to solve problems with the help of haphazard short-term measures, often in conflict with each other. They are trying to pay for the costs of their anti-crisis policy, shifting the burden of expenses onto the shoulders of the majority of the population, cutting off social benefits, trying to save on education, medicine, science and municipal economy, then, catching themselves, trying to benefit society or some part of it with one-time "gifts". At the same time, a reduction in social spending, the absence of a serious program for job creation and regional development, a reduction in the number of educational institutions and a decrease in the quality of their work is a long-term trend. But periodically recurring initiatives to create jobs or prestigious scientific and educational projects are rather exceptions that not only do not allow to reverse the overall situation, but also aggravate it, since the focus is not on the real benefits of such programs, but only their propaganda effect. Thus, on the one hand, there is a constant reduction in the social and labor rights of citizens, enshrined in legislation (changes in the labor and housing code, reforms of the pension system, education and healthcare). On the other hand, the state by no means refuses to distribute part of the federal budget revenues among certain categories of citizens with the help of targeted social programs and "national projects". Thus, on the one hand, the state authorities are less legally bound in the allocation of budget funds. On the other hand, they can successfully use this approach for propaganda purposes, since the distribution of funds for social programs and participation in the resolution of labor conflicts in such conditions is no longer an obligation, but a manifestation of the goodwill of statesmen, a "gift", a "grace" of the state.

It can be said that the Russian government is not so much concerned about the fight against the crisis, as about creating a favorable impression on society and the world about how it conducts this struggle. In this case, however, the domestic elites are not so much different from the ruling classes of other countries following a similar path.

The task of trade unions in such conditions is not only to uncompromisingly rebuff every attempt by the authorities and entrepreneurs to solve their problems by infringing on the rights of employees and reducing their earnings. The task of trade unions is also to offer society a new development model focused on creating a large number of well-paid and socially protected jobs, improving the level of education and healthcare, creating conditions where the qualifications, knowledge and capabilities of the individual are used with maximum benefit both for society as a whole and for the individual himself.

KTR and politics

In Russia in recent years, public policy has been constantly losing its importance, being pushed into the background by hardware policy. The parties not only turned into "electoral machines" devoid of a clear program and ideology, but also began to lose their significance in this capacity, since the elections themselves degenerated into an empty formality that does not affect our lives in any way. The decline of political parties has affected not only the opposition. The ruling party turned out to be not so much a party of power as an assembly of faceless officials, deprived of their own initiative, views and even opinions. It is pointless to fight such a party, because it itself is neither a social nor a political force, completely dependent on the initiative of the highest state bureaucracy. It is in the ranks of this higher bureaucracy that conflicts and clashes arise every now and then, which are in no way connected with ideological differences or public discussions about the economic and social strategy of the government, but lead to loud scandals, resignations and even adjustments of the official course. Duma politicians can only watch this struggle at the top with bewilderment and curiosity, trying to catch the direction of change and follow the winner.

Public policy is not needed by officials or deputies of official parties, regardless of their nominal affiliation. None of them needs an open public discussion, direct participation of the masses in choosing a social and economic course, none of them needs radical changes that shift the levers of real power, expanding citizens' access to them. But these changes are vital for the workers themselves, their organizations, and trade unions. We are facing a number of important issues that can and should be resolved legislatively if we want to change the state of affairs in the country. First of all, we are talking about the right to strike, ensuring equality between trade unions, and protecting social and labor rights. However, these goals cannot be achieved by lobbying deputies and officials, or by employing individual trade union leaders in various party factions that are not organically connected with our movement.

A number of trade unionists, leftists and social activists who got into the State Duma or regional assemblies on the lists of official parties became hostages of this system. As long as employees and their representative trade unions themselves have not organized their own political representation, do not have their own organization and system of political control over politicians promoted by them to deputy seats and other positions in the state, the appearance in parliament of individual immigrants from trade unions does not change anything. The influence on the legislative process of the Russian State Duma itself is extremely limited. As a result of changes in the legislation of recent years, deputies have become even more bound by party discipline, that is, their actions now cannot seriously diverge from the attitudes of the party from which they got into parliament. Former trade union activists, once in parliament, often lose touch with the trade union organizations where they were formed and are increasingly focused on solving personal problems.

The political goals of trade unions can be achieved only by combining parliamentary and extra-parliamentary struggle, direct action and negotiations, participation in elections and active resistance. Only an organization capable of organically combining and linking these various forms of work can become an instrument for implementing social changes in the interests of the majority of workers. We do not believe in the favor of the official Duma parties, including the party that today calls itself "communist". We do not expect salvation from the self-styled vanguard, who knows the answers to all questions in advance and is ready to offer himself to the workers as a ready leader.

Trade unions need political representation — through an organization created by themselves and with their direct participation. But this by no means means that the creation of a political organization of workers can be an exclusive matter of trade unions. We advocate a broad association and an open discussion, during which activists of social movements, representatives of the intelligentsia, participants in initiatives in defense of education, science, healthcare, defenders of culture and ecology could join in the joint struggle. Such unification cannot be without problems, it cannot be carried out without sharp discussions, disputes and contradictions, but it is the only way to create a new social force, to democratize society.

The real influence of trade unions will increase not if individual trade union representatives get into the factions of individual parties, but due to the appearance in the State Duma of the Russian Federation of a faction clearly bound by obligations with free trade unions and focused on the political representation of their interests. Today, the appearance of such a faction is limited, firstly, by the peculiarities of Russian legislation on parties and, secondly, by the desire of the authorities to limit the number of officially registered parties. However, the situation may change under pressure from below. The path to political representation of trade unions lies through active struggle and the growth of the influence of trade union organizations themselves on the ground.

KTR and social movements

The activity of social movements seeking specific local goals and acting on the principle of "not in my yard!" has become a characteristic feature of Russia in the 2000s. These movements usually do not meet as tough opposition from the authorities as political protests. For business representatives, protest actions of employees are usually more sensitive than the speeches of social movements for the authorities. In addition, both in labor and social conflicts, opponents use criminal methods of influence against social activists.

In particular, local situational goals can become a field for the interaction of trade unions with social movements. Joint performances can be the main factor for solving local problems and protecting the interests of workers, both within the framework of industrial relations and within the framework of the struggle for social rights, be it housing, ecology, pricing, etc. This may be the basis for a closer bond between trade unions and social movements.

Practice shows that in the absence of protection of people's interests by formalized parties, political representation is often forced to take over the trade unions or social movements themselves. It is still possible to elect deputies at the local (municipal) level. Here, interaction can be extremely useful. Negotiations with officially active political parties also remain important. The experience of coordination and the institutional status that trade unions have can be useful for social movements.

Since both trade unions and social movements are focused on the struggle for the social rights of citizens in various spheres, we can talk about the common interests of both. Of course, we must not forget about the local nature of the activities of social movements, their focus on solving a specific, relevant problem at a given time (or a limited group of problems), the main field for the interaction of trade union and social movements can be, firstly, the support of trade union actions of regional, interregional and federal significance by activists of social movements, and secondly, defending the rights of citizens at the state level, including through political representation. The rarity of cases of cooperation between parties and social movements at least at the regional level is due to the fact that social movements are usually focused on solving a specific problem and do not build systematic work for the future. However, trade unions have just such an experience. And it is the trade unions that have a better chance of becoming at the forefront of the systemic struggle for the social rights of citizens in that case, uniting with social movements. The bloc of trade Unions and social movements is promising both tactically and strategically, and has a political future.

Organizational strategy of the unified professional center

The unification of the majority of real trade unions around the KTR forces us to revisit the issue of organizational strategy.

Firstly, it is necessary in practice, in everyday work, to ensure the unity of the trade unions that have created the Confederation, interaction, exchange of information and solidary mutual assistance between them. If this task is not solved, the association will turn into a formal superstructure that has no relation to the daily practice and concerns of the movement. It is necessary to optimize the sectoral, sectoral structure of the professional center in order to create a legal and organizational opportunity for the formation of new organizations, expanding their membership base.

Secondly, it is necessary to support the development of the most active organizations. Their successes are significant not only for their members, but also for the entire movement. For workers, no matter how large-scale the common goals and objectives of the trade union struggle are, it is very important to achieve small victories through which thousands and millions of people gain positive social experience, confidence in their abilities and the potential of the movement. This strategy of small victories is at the same time the best propaganda of the activities of the united trade unions and a source of experience, using which you can achieve new successes.

Thirdly, it is necessary to start planning work on the development of the trade union movement in those areas that have not yet been covered by it. It should be remembered that we have already accumulated experience in creating trade unions in new areas in recent years. Permanent, proactive organizing in the "green fields" of the Russian economy that are not covered by trade union membership is an absolute priority of KTR and its member organizations.

The priority task is to create the financial base of a single professional center necessary for the development of projects, to support striking collectives, to assist activists dismissed for their activities, defending their rights in court. Material support is still one of the acute problems of trade union work. The United Trade Union Center needs to solve such primary tasks as: creation and implementation of training programs for trade union activists; legal support for trade union members and everyone who applies to the trade union for support; creation of a legal advisory center at least at the level of the central office of the Confederation, and in the future — the creation of similar centers at the regional level, as well as in all industry organizations. Information and propaganda work should be established, which is still being carried out almost on naked enthusiasm. The information resources of the trade unions themselves are not strong enough and unprofessional. Without working with the media, without attracting their attention, without promoting their ideas, opinions and assessments in them, it is impossible to form a positive attitude towards our trade unions in society, to arouse sympathy for their struggle. Finally, international cooperation will also become an important task of the joint professional center. Receiving support from comrades from other countries, we should not forget about our duty of solidarity, supporting everyone who shares common goals and principles with us and fights for them.

Software requirements for CTR

Entering a new decade, Russia cannot leave behind a long-term burden of unresolved problems that continue to affect the socio-economic situation in the country and the positions of free trade unions, including. However, we can note a number of positive trends that have emerged recently. There is a need in society for changes and actions, for the protection of social rights, for active trade unions ready to defend the rights of employees. This need is growing not only in industries with traditionally high levels of solidarity, but also in those areas where labor is largely autonomous and individualized.

Trade unions belonging to the KTR are increasingly being taken seriously by both the authorities and employers. Even the harsh pressure and repression against our trade union activists confirm the fact that the situation is changing, and trade unions are gaining influence and authority that did not exist before. Unscrupulous employers in a labor conflict can no longer act absolutely in the old way.

In these conditions, the KTR and the trade unions that are members of the Confederation can not only solve the previous tasks, but also move to a fundamentally new level of work. We must not forget that next to the current issues there is the prospect of qualitative changes — the opportunity to influence politics in the country, to improve the situation of workers, expand public freedoms, unconditional realization of fundamental labor and trade union rights.

We are convinced that the development of the trade union movement and the protection of labor rights are inseparable from the struggle for the democratization of society. But we understand this task fundamentally differently from the liberal opposition. For us, the conquest and protection of rights and freedoms is not an abstract goal in itself, but a concrete task, the solution of which is necessary to improve the lives of workers. We do not need a constitution for the sake of the constitution, but the electability of governors for the sake of "restoring trampled democracy." The democracy we need to open the way for the workers' movement to improve their lives, including the expansion and development of labor rights. That is why we consider changing the legislation on the activities of trade unions, ending discrimination, ensuring equality during the preparation of collective bargaining, ensuring real freedom of association to be a priority issue.

The real representation of employees at the level of enterprises, industries and the entire political system should allow us to reverse economic policy and end the course that takes away our rights, guarantees and incomes.

The tasks in the field of economic policy include the expansion of the public sector — the nationalization of the most important companies that systematically use public funds to solve private problems, support the development of the Russian domestic market and its protection. We are opposed to the country's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), which opens the country's economy to the blows of transnational corporations. We act as supporters of social protectionism aimed at increasing the incomes of workers. There should be more jobs, not fewer. Working conditions should improve, not worsen. Technological progress should increase labor productivity along with an increase in free time, social well-being and cultural level of the employee. The economic policy, which we consider necessary, should be aimed at the revival of domestic industry and science, and one is unthinkable without the other.

The development of productive forces is inseparable from social progress. The natural resources of the country should be put at his service as well as our daily work. Natural resources and land should not be in private hands, parasitic commodity monopolies-exporters should be returned to state ownership. Their income should be directed to the development of the country, for the benefit of the whole society. Our country needs modern industry, technologies that meet the latest environmental and social standards, and not an economy that lives solely on the export of resources and overexploitation of worn-out equipment by half-starved workers.

Russia needs high-quality, free, affordable education and healthcare. Science should receive state support and develop for the benefit of the whole society. The trade unions are well aware that without this, a real modernization of the national economy is unthinkable. But we are not talking about ostentatious projects that devour billions of rubles, but about the revival and development of existing scientific centers and schools in Russia, about creating infrastructure and normal working conditions for hundreds of thousands of representatives of the scientific intelligentsia throughout the country. Scientists should be provided with maximum access to information, knowledge and technology. The nature of modern technologies is such that unlimited copying and dissemination of information is their most important feature, a feature that determines their revolutionary significance in a changed world. Thus, attempts to restrain the free dissemination of information and knowledge run counter to the trends inherent in the very essence of the technological revolution. Consequently, the weak protection of intellectual property in Russia is not a sign of backwardness or weakness of the domestic economy, but rather its most important advantage, a chance for the future, a principle that must be protected and developed.

The current task of our struggle in the field of social rights should be to prevent the total commercialization of education, to provide state guarantees for free primary and secondary general education, for affordable quality vocational education, to suspend market reforms in the field of housing and communal services, to improve the quality and accessibility of medical services. Such steps do not require a holistic concept and can unite a variety of social groups and movements. The struggle against market reforms of the social sphere is important not only for saving the education of the social sphere itself, but also for consolidating forces capable of resisting neoliberal reforms of the social sphere, for forming a united front of solidarity actions of trade unions and social movements, for accumulating experience of resistance in the social sphere. A necessary tactical step is also blocking the growth of transport and housing and communal tariffs with the help of organized protest actions.

The KTR and the trade unions belonging to the Confederation are supporters of progressive social policy and opponents of neoliberal reforms. The task of the state is to provide benefits to the unemployed and disabled, scholarships to students and postgraduates, pensions to pensioners. The trade unions that are members of the KTR consider it important to counteract the policy of reducing social guarantees, curtailing rights and commercializing education, culture and medicine.

We are in favor of restoring state control over the pension system and housing and communal services. We advocate the return of the strategic role of trade unions in determining the principles of the formation of social funds and control over their spending. In the pension system, it is necessary to achieve a return to the principle of generational solidarity with an indispensable increase in pensions, especially labor pensions. In such a pension system, pensions to current pensioners are paid from deductions of currently working citizens. Pensions should not be funded and depend on the will of the employer, market randomness or the whim of the bureaucracy. In the field of social assistance, it is necessary to focus not on ineffective "targeted" assistance, but on a well-functioning powerful public sector, through which the implementation of social rights of citizens will mainly be carried out. Education, housing, healthcare and culture, social security need to gradually return the status of social rights instead of the status of "social services" — in general, of lower quality, more expensive and less accessible.

The KTR and the trade unions belonging to the Confederation oppose attempts to replenish the state budget only at the expense of workers' incomes. Significantly higher taxes should be paid by those who make a profit or have a large property. Indirect taxes on consumer goods are absolutely unacceptable — they invisibly take away a considerable part of the earned funds from the worker. In the field of taxation, the first tactical requirement should be the introduction of a progressive tax on personal income. The tax burden should be redistributed in such a way that the main burden falls on the wealthiest strata of society, the tax on capital and income from it should be significantly higher than the tax on labor income.

The semi-feudal residence permit regime prevents Russian workers from freely moving around the country, choosing a place of residence and employment. We demand freedom of movement with the right of everyone to settle and work wherever he wants — without paying bribes to officials and processing countless papers. Russians should become citizens of one country with the same rights and guarantees everywhere.

We say a firm "no!" to the attempts of entrepreneurs to increase the working week, stating that our requirement is to reduce working hours on the basis of technological renewal of production and increase labor productivity. Overtime hours and overwork should be paid at a double and higher rate.

We believe that immigrants in Russia should fully enjoy the protection of Russian legislation, representing their interests in the field of labor and social protection. There should be no disenfranchised workers, we have one nationality — wage labor. The policy of socialization and cultural integration of immigrants should help them become full-fledged members of society, perceive Russia as a safe and fair state.

The KTR and the trade unions belonging to the Confederation condemn the nationalist policy, being well aware of who benefits from splitting the workers. We are for freedom of religion, but against state cults and religious propaganda in educational institutions.

Daily struggles and private victories lead the trade unions to a general improvement in the situation of workers. The growth of the strength of workers' organizations, the activity of their struggle depends on how soon it will be possible to solve big problems. The strike remains the main weapon of the trade unions. No prohibitions and repressions will deprive the class of employees of the consciousness of their full right to fight for justice, using all forms of labor protest. Pressure, protest and negotiations can be an effective form of resolving labor conflicts only when employers and their government assistants understand that trade unions still have a strike in their arsenal. The right to strike must be fully returned to the workers of Russia, the absurd restrictions that make the organization of a strike virtually illegal must be abolished.

Strategic tasks in the field of social policy can be solved on the basis of a holistic concept of the development of the social sphere and the public sector. Therefore, the first tasks are, firstly, to organize a democratic discussion of the problems and prospects of the development of the social sphere, to attract left-wing experts, representatives of trade unions and social movements to create a concept for its development. Secondly, it is necessary to initiate and stimulate the process of creating viable trade unions in the social sphere. Existing independent trade unions should support social and trade union alternatives in education, healthcare, housing and communal services. Thirdly, it is necessary to develop the interaction of independent trade unions of health workers, education, other branches of the social sphere and social movements dealing with the problems of these areas (movements of parents, residents of dormitories, etc.).

Such a program can be implemented only under strict public control over the collection and use of public funds. Thus, it is the democratization of public life, ensuring real representation and direct, maximally simplified control of citizens over their representatives that is the key task of forces seeking to change the situation in the country.
Methods of struggle of trade unions

We are well aware that our goals and requirements cannot be achieved without a struggle. Even the simplest work aimed at maintaining the existing level of social and labor rights encounters tough opposition in our country, and sometimes condemns activists to pressure and repression.

That is why we need strong organizations that themselves are able to exert pressure on employers and authorities by all legal means. We do not exclude street actions, strikes, or negotiations as methods of our struggle. It is in combination with each other that these methods become effective and efficient.

The work of trade unions should be based on a clear coordination of the efforts of all structures of the confederation and its member organizations. At the same time, it should be subject to democratic control at all levels. Trade union leaders should be accountable for their actions to the members of their organizations, rely on their support and approval. A trade union cannot and should not become a hostage to political intrigues and combinations in which the management involves it without consulting its own assets and ordinary members. Transparency and openness of the decision—making process, clear and specific requirements, constant monitoring from below of how the actions taken correspond to the declared goals and requirements - that's what distinguishes the workers' militant organizations from the "yellow" trade unions created by the authorities and employers.

We do not oppose dialogue with entrepreneurs and the authorities, we consider the negotiation process to be the most important and necessary element of our struggle. But we are convinced that only a tough and principled position in the negotiations, only the control of ordinary workers over their progress, and no less strict control of trade union organizations over the implementation of the agreements reached allows us to achieve our goals and make a positive contribution to the development of our country.

Strengthening our Confederation is not an end in itself, but a means of consolidating the forces of wage labor to protect their rights in the face of capital and power. Trade unions are becoming the most important tool to change the position of the masses in a society where the value of a person is measured exclusively in monetary terms, and labor is valued only as a resource that can be exploited. By joining trade unions, we protect not only our right to higher earnings or better working conditions, but also our human dignity.
Adopted at the extraordinary unification Congress of the Confederation of Labor of Russia on May 27, 2011
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References: trade unions and the sphere of labor