Russia: Bosses’ sack auto-factory union leader and Socialist Resistance (CWI- Russia) supporter

Firing linked to cuts in workers’ social benefits – Solidarity action needed!

On 19 January, Dmitrii Kozhnev, Chair of the ‘Tsentrosvarmash’ factory branch of the Trade Union of Auto Industry Workers (MPRA), and a supporter of Socialist Resistance (CWI- Russia), was sacked from his workplace in Tver city, Russia. At the end of a work-shift, Dmitrii, together with his manager, was called to the personnel office. Dmitrii was informed of his sacking and given documents and outstanding wages. Two security guards were instructed to escort Dmitrii out of the factory.

According to Russian law, employers have to get the agreement of the relevant trade union before sacking workers in such a manner. The Director of the Tsentrosvarmash factory had earlier approached the trade union and asked for approval to remove Dmitrii, but was refused. The Director decided to fire Dmitrii Kozhnev regardless, ignoring legal requirements.

Following Dmitrii’s sacking, harassment of other trade union members in the factory was stepped up.

The sudden firing of Dmitrii is connected to management plans, with the support of the ‘official’ trade union, to launch a serious attack on working conditions, by cutting social benefits. The independent Trade Union of Auto Industry Workers (MPRA) was a serious barrier to the management’s plans. The independent union, however, intends to continue its campaign against the illegal actions of the factory management.

We appeal to trade unionists and activists internationally to protest against the summary sacking of Dimitrii Kozhnev, to demand his immediate re-instatement, and to demand the cuts in workers’ benefits are immediately reversed.

Please send urgent protests to

  • Yu. E Makarov, General Director of “Tsentrosvarmash”, Ul P.Savelevoi 47, Tver, Russia 170039

With a copy to the Head Office

And to the Administration of the Tver Region

Please send copies of protest messages to

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January 2009