Russia: VKT and KTR Re-Unite

Last Friday – 23 April 2010 – may become one of the historic dates for the trade union movement in Russia. The KTR (Confederation of Labour of Russia) Council members unanimously agreed to accept the VKT (All-Russian Labour Confederation) as an affiliated member of the KTR regardless of any differences of the two organizations regarding the strategy of the independent trade unions development. Practically this means the merger of the two trade union centers and creation of a new strong trade union amalgamation.

The general decision to unite the VKT and the KTR was taken last spring; and on 31 May 2009 the Councils of both Confederations held a joint meeting which decided the mechanism of the unification. Originally, the two organizations were supposed to merge with following restructuring and creation of a new organization. Yet the pressure on the independent trade unions grew, and this plan had to be amended. As a result, on 7 April 2010, in Vsevolozhsk (Leningrad Region), the VKT Council made a decision on immediate merger with the KTR. They have sent to the KTR a request for affiliation, and the KTR Council approved it after consideration.

Says Igor KOVALCHUK, KTR President:
“We have considered several schemes of the unification of our two trade union amalgamations. Yet, both legally and politically the unification via merger of the two Confederations into a single one turned to be too complicated – more complicated then we expected earlier. So, it was decided that the best option was VKT affiliating the KTR as a member”.

According to the VKT President Boris KRAVCHENKO, affiliation of the VKT to the KTR will allow creation of the new, united trade union center by this summer. Mr.Kravchenko pointed out that according to the decisions of the VKT Council of 7 April 2010, the Extraordinary Congress of the VKT will take place, and this will finalize the unification procedures.

“This decision was a decisive step towards our unity, to the integration of independent unions”, stressed Boris Kravchenko addressing the KTR Council.

The KTR Council, having considered the VKT appeal, agreed that such an affiliation would not contradict to the Constitutions of both organizations, and unanimously agreed to accept the VKT as an member union of the KTR.

The KTR Council also requested the KTR Executive Board to work out, together with the VKT leadership, the future joint strategy, and approved Boris Kravchenko’s candidature as the General Secretary of the KTR.

KTR President Igor Kovalchuk believes that at the KTR Council meeting the two organizations virtually united, which was an important event for the trade unions’ history in Russia.

“It was a long road to this event, and we are sure that our unification will help to solve a number of important problems which the Russian trade union movement is facing”, said Mr.Kovalchuk.
“By uniting our Confederations today, we are creating a new, strong trade union amalgamation which will help to protect the employees’ rights more effectively. This is the reason and the essence of the KTR and VKT unification, as well as of the unification of all democratic trade unions in the future”, noted the leader of the amalgamated trade union organization.


Congratulations from ITUC and PERC Ru