The Far North and the Arctic are in the zone of special attention of trade unions

On March 10, 2021, an Agreement on cooperation was signed between the All-Russian Professional Union of Workers in the Oil and Gas Industries and Construction, the Seafarers Union of Russia and the Russian Professional Union of Workers in Nuclear Energy and Industry.

Within the framework of the Agreement, the parties agreed to jointly protect the interests and rights of members of branch trade unions and to take into account common interests when interacting with federal authorities. One of the main tasks of the representatives of the three friendly trade unions will undoubtedly be to promote the implementation of the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and the state program Socio-Economic Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation. The Agreement also stipulates an agreement on the desire to preserve the labor potential in the Arctic zone, attract highly qualified specialists and young people, including through the formation of additional economic and social incentives.

As the chairman of the Neftegazstroyprofsoyuz of Russia (All-Russian Professional Union of Workers in the Oil and Gas Industries and Construction), Alexander Korchagin, noted, " we, as a trade union, have repeatedly stated that the current system of state guarantees and compensation has almost exhausted itself. We do not see any factors that attract workers to the North. Therefore, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, because it involves the modernization of medical and social infrastructure, solving environmental problems, preserving the culture of northern first nations, and developing the infrastructure of construction and rotation camps in the Arctic. This creates conditions for a comfortable life and work in the northern territories, as well as conditions for attracting qualified personnel.

Our main task today is to protect the national maritime labor market, preserve and increase jobs for Russian seafarers engaged in the exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic. Currently the situation is such that more and more foreign vessels with foreign crews on board get permission for coastal trading so that they are involved in the process of transportation along the Northern Sea Route, which, from our point of view, is completely unacceptable. This contradicts the adopted strategy for the development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), according to which the transportation of extracted hydrocarbons should be carried out on vessels belonged to Russian owners, built in our country, with Russian crews on board. I am sure that the cooperation of the three largest national trade unions within the framework of the state program for the development of the Arctic zone and the NSR will help to turn the tide. We must ensure that only Russian seafarers will work in this strategically important economic zone. - said Yuri Sukhorukov, Chairman of the Seafarers Union of Russia

Rosatom (Russia Federal Atomic Energy Agency) is the infrastructure operator of the Northern Sea Route. Oil products, liquefied natural gas, coal, and metals are transported through the ice transport artery with assistance of Rosatomflots icebreakers. Behind all the joint successes of our industries are people-nuclear scientists, seafarers, oil workers, gas workers and constructors. Each of us is well aware of the specifics of our industry, and it is time to combine this knowledge so that to protect together the rights and interests of employees not only at the industry level, but also at the cross-sectoral and regional levels. The time has come to negotiate with the ministries, the Government of the Russian Federation, and legislative authorities at various levels to seek increased guarantees for those who work in difficult climatic and social conditions, - said Igor Fomichev, Chairman of the Russian Professional Union of Nuclear Power and Industry Workers.

The cooperation of the three largest trade unions, which is beginning today and unites more than 1.5 million employees, creates a powerful platform for the consolidation of the trade union movement in protecting the socio-economic interests of the workers of the North, and will allow to take a new step towards the implementation of the social part of the program for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.