Today, the trade union is the only organization designed to fully represent and protect the rights and interests of employees of enterprises. As well as being able to help the company itself control labor safety, resolve labor disputes and foster employee loyalty to the enterprise, which has the opportunity to teach them production discipline. Therefore, both the owners of organizations and ordinary ordinary employees need to know and understand the essence and characteristics of the trade union.
The concept of trade unions
A trade union is an organization that unites employees of an enterprise to be able to resolve issues arising from their working conditions and their interests in the field of professional activity.
Each employee of the enterprise on which the organization is located has the right to join it on a voluntary basis. In the Russian Federation, according to the law, foreign persons and stateless persons can also receive union membership, if this does not contradict international treaties.
Meanwhile, every citizen of the Russian Federation who has reached the age of 14 and is engaged in labor activity can create a union.
In the Russian Federation, the legislation establishes the primary organization of trade unions. By it is meant the voluntary association of all its members who work in one enterprise. In its structure, trade union groups or individual trade union organizations in workshops or departments can be formed.
Primary trade-union organizations can unite in associations by branches of labor activity, by territorial aspect, or by any other feature that has working specifics.
The union of trade unions has every right to interact with trade unions of other states, conclude agreements and agreements with them, and create international associations.
Types and examples
Trade unions, depending on their territorial features, are divided into:
- The all-Russian trade union organization, uniting more than half of the employees of one or more professional sectors, or operating in the territory of more than half of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.
- Interregional trade union organizations linking members of trade unions of one or several sectors on the territory of several constituent entities of the Russian Federation, but less than half of their total number.
- Territorial organizations of trade unions, uniting members of trade unions of one or more subjects of the Russian Federation, cities or other settlements. For example, the Arkhangelsk regional union of aviation workers or the Novosibirsk regional public organization of the workers' union in the field of public education and science.
All organizations can unite, respectively, in inter-regional associations or territorial associations of trade union organizations. And also form councils or committees. For example, the Volgograd Regional Council of Trade Unions is a territorial association of regional organizations of all-Russian trade unions.
Another striking example is the association of the capital. Moscow trade unions have been united by the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions since 1990.
Depending on the professional sphere, trade union organizations of various specialties and types of workers' activities can be distinguished. For example, the union of educators, the union of medical workers, the union of artists, actors or musicians, etc.
Trade union organizations and their associations create and establish charters, their structure and governing bodies. They also independently organize their own work, hold conferences, meetings and other similar events.
The charters of trade unions of enterprises that are part of the structure of all-Russian or inter-regional associations should not contradict the charters of these organizations. For example, the regional committee of trade unions of any region should not approve a charter that contains provisions that run counter to the provisions of the interregional trade union, in the structure of which the first mentioned organization is located.
In this case, the charter should include:
- name, goals and functions of the union;
- categories and groups of associate employees;
- the procedure for changing the charter, making contributions;
- rights and obligations of its members, conditions for admission to membership of the organization;
- union structure;
- sources of income and property management procedures;
- conditions and features of the reorganization and liquidation of the workers' union;
- all other questions regarding the work of the union.
Registration of a trade union as a legal entity
The trade union of workers or their associations, according to the legislation of the Russian Federation, can be state-registered as a legal entity. But at the same time this is not a prerequisite.
State registration takes place in the relevant executive authorities at the location of the trade union organization. For this procedure, the representative of the association must provide originals or notarized copies of the charter, decisions of the congresses on the creation of the trade union, decisions on the approval of the charter and lists of participants. After which a decision is made on the assignment of legal status. persons, and the data of the organization itself are entered into a single State Register.
The trade union of educators, industrial workers, creative workers, or a similar association of any other persons may be reorganized or liquidated. Moreover, its reorganization should be carried out in accordance with the approved charter, and liquidation - with federal law.
A trade union may be liquidated if its activity is contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation or federal laws. Also in these cases, a forced suspension of activity for a period of up to 12 months is possible.
Legal regulation of trade unions
The activities of trade unions are currently regulated by law Federal Law No. 10 of January 12, 1996, “On Trade Unions, Their Rights and Guarantees of Activities”. The latest changes to which were made on December 22, 2014.
This bill enshrines the concept of the union and the basic terms associated with it. It also defines the rights and guarantees of the association and its members.
According to Art. 4 of this Federal Law, its effect extends to all enterprises located in the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as to all Russian firms that are located abroad.
For legislative regulation of the norms of trade union movements in the military industry, in the internal affairs bodies, in judging and prosecution, in the bodies of the federal security service, in the customs bodies, in drug trafficking control bodies, as well as in the work of the Ministries of Fire Fighting Service, emergency situations, there are separate relevant Federal laws.
The main goal of the trade union, as a public organization for the protection of workers' rights, is, respectively, to represent and protect social and working interests and the rights of citizens.
A trade union is an organization designed to defend the interests and rights of employees in their workplaces, improve working conditions for workers, and achieve decent wages by interacting with the employer.
The interests that such organizations are called upon to defend may be decisions on labor protection, wages, dismissals, layoffs, non-compliance with the labor code of the Russian Federation and certain laws relating to labor.
All of the above refers to the "protective" function of this association. Another role of trade unions is the function of representation. Which is the relationship between trade unions and the state.
This function is to protect the rights of workers not at the enterprise level, but nationwide. Thus, trade unions have the right to participate in the election of local governments on behalf of workers. They can take part in the development of state programs for labor protection, employment, etc.
To lobby for the interests of employees, trade unions work closely with different political parties, and sometimes even create their own.
Trade unions are organizations that are independent of the executive branch of government and local self-government and management. Along with this, without exception, all such associations have equal rights.
The rights of trade unions are enshrined in the Federal Law of the Russian Federation "On trade unions, their rights and guarantees of activity".
According to this Federal Law, organizations have the right to:
- protecting the interests of workers;
- introducing initiatives to the authorities for the adoption of relevant laws;
- participation in the adoption and discussion of bills proposed by them;
- unobstructed visits to working places of workers and receipt of all social and labor information from the employer;
- collective bargaining, collective bargaining;
- an indication to the employer of his violations, which he is obliged to eliminate within a week;
- rallies, meetings, strikes, demands for workers;
- equal participation in the management of state funds, which are formed by membership fees;
- creation of own inspections to monitor working conditions, compliance with collective agreements and environmental safety of employees.
Trade union organizations have the right to possess such property as land, buildings, buildings, sanatorium-resort or sports complexes, printing houses. And they can also be owners of securities, have the right to create and manage cash funds.
If there is a danger to the health or life of workers at the workplace, the chairman of the trade union has the right to demand that the employer resolve the problems. And if this is not possible, then the termination of the work of employees until the elimination of violations.
If the company is reorganized or liquidated, as a result of which the working conditions of employees worsen, or workers are reduced, the company management is obliged to inform the union no later than three months before this event.
At the expense of the social insurance fund, professional associations can conduct recreational activities for their members, send them to motels and boarding houses.
Rights of workers joining a union
Of course, first of all, trade unions are necessary for workers in enterprises. Using these organizations, joining them, the employee receives the right:
- for all benefits stipulated by the collective agreement;
- to assist the union in resolving disputes regarding wages, vacations, and advanced training;
- to receive free legal assistance, if necessary, in court;
- on assistance to the trade union organization on the issues of advanced training;
- to protection in case of unfair dismissal, non-payment during reduction, compensation for harm caused in the workplace;
- to help in obtaining trips to boarding houses and sanatoriums for themselves and their family members.
Russian law prohibits discrimination on affiliation with trade unions. That is, it does not matter if the employee of the enterprise is a member of the trade union or not, his rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution should not be limited. An employer does not have the right to dismiss him because of non-membership in a trade union or to hire him subject to his mandatory membership.
The history of the creation and development of professional associations in Russia
In 1905-1907, during the revolution, the first trade unions appeared in Russia. It is worth noting that at this time in the countries of Europe and America, they already existed for a long time and at the same time thoroughly functioned.
Before the revolution, strike committees existed in Russia. Which gradually outgrew and were reorganized into a union of trade unions.
The foundation date of the first professional associations is considered to be 30.04.1906. On this day the first meeting of Moscow workers (metalworkers and electricians) took place. Although, before this date (October 6, 1905), the Moscow Bureau of Commissioners (Central Bureau of Trade Unions) was formed at the first All-Russian Conference of Trade Unions.
All actions during the revolution took place illegally, including the second All-Russian Conference of Trade Unions, which was held in St. Petersburg in late February 1906. Until 1917, all trade unions were oppressed, smashed by autocratic power. But after its overthrow, a new favorable period began for them. Then the first regional committee of trade unions appeared.
The Third All-Russian Conference of Trade Unions was held in June 1917. The All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions was elected at it. This day began the heyday of the associations under consideration.
The unions of Russia after 1917 began to fulfill a number of new functions, which included concern for the growth of labor productivity and raising the level of the economy. It was believed that such attention to production is, first and foremost, concern for the working people themselves. For these purposes, trade unions began to conduct various kinds of competitions among workers, involving them in the labor process and instilling in them production discipline.
In 1918-1918, the first and second All-Russian congresses of trade unions were held, at which the course of development of the organization was changed by the Bolsheviks towards nationalization. Since then, up to the 50-70s, the trade unions of Russia were very different from those in the West. Now they did not protect the rights and interests of workers. Even joining these public organizations has ceased to be voluntary (were forced in nature).
Unlike its Western counterparts, the structure of organizations was such that all ordinary workers and managers united. This led to a complete absence of the struggle of the former with the latter.
In 1950-1970, several legal acts were adopted that gave the trade unions new rights and functions, giving them greater freedom. And by the mid-80s, the organization had a stable, ramified structure that was organically integrated into the political system of the country. But at the same time there was a very high level of bureaucracy. And due to the great authority of trade unions, many of his problems were hushed up, hindering the development and improvement of this organization.
Meanwhile, politicians, taking advantage of the situation, introduced their ideologies to the masses thanks to powerful trade union movements.
In the Soviet years, professional associations were engaged in conducting subbotniks, demonstrations, competitions and circle work. They distributed vouchers, apartments and other material goods given by the state among the workers. They were a kind of social welfare departments of enterprises.
After perestroika in 1990-1992, trade unions gained organizational independence. By 1995, they were already setting new work principles that were changed with the advent of democracy and a market economy in the country.
Trade unions in modern Russia
From the above-mentioned history of the creation and development of professional associations, it can be understood that after the USSR collapsed and the country switched to a democratic regime of government, people began to leave these public organizations en masse. They did not want to be in a bureaucratic system, considering it useless for their own interests. The influence of trade unions has come to naught. Many of them were completely dissolved.
But by the end of the 90s, trade unions began to re-form. Already a new type. Trade unions of Russia today are organizations independent of the state. And trying to perform classical functions close to their Western counterparts.
There are also such trade unions in Russia that are close in their activities to the Japanese model, according to which organizations help to establish relations between employees and management, while not only protecting the interests of employees, but trying to find a compromise. Such relationships can be called traditional.
At the same time, both the first and second types of trade unions in the Russian Federation make mistakes that impede their development and distort the positive result of their work. These are:
- strong politicization;
- hostility and confrontation;
- amorphous in its organization.
A modern union is an organization that devotes too much time and attention to political events. They like to be in opposition to the current government, while forgetting about the everyday small difficulties of the working people. Often, union leaders in order to raise their profile, specially organize strikes and rallies of workers, for no particular reason. Which, undoubtedly, is badly reflected both in production as a whole and in employees in particular. And finally, the internal organization of modern professional associations is far from ideal. In many of them there is no unity; leadership, leaders, and the chairman often change. Inappropriate use of union funds is found.
In traditional organizations, there is another significant minus: people join them automatically when applying for a job. As a result, employees of enterprises are completely not interested in anything, do not know and do not defend their own rights and interests. The unions themselves do not solve the problems that arise, but exist only formally. In such organizations, their leaders and the chairman of the union are selected, as a rule, by management, which hinders the objectivity of the former.
Having examined the history of the creation and change of the trade union movement in the Russian Federation, as well as the rights, duties and characteristics of these organizations today, we can conclude that they play a significant role in the socio-political development of society and the state as a whole.
Despite the existing problems of the functioning of trade unions in the Russian Federation, these associations are undoubtedly important for a country striving for democracy, freedoms and equality of its citizens.