According to Sergey Portenko, chairman of the SUR primary trade union organization of the Northern Shipping Company, the trade union committee insists that the salary of crewmembers and other employees of the company should be indexed by at least 4.9% this year, as per the inflation rate published by Russian Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation. However, despite the fact that according to the legislation, salary indexation is mandatory for employers of all forms of ownership, the Northern Shipping Company is not in a hurry to carry it out.
Thus, we note that a regular increase in wages is necessary in connection with the growth of consumer prices for goods and services in order to ensure an increase in the level of its real content. Moreover, according to Article 134 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, both state institutions and commercial organizations must index. For state federal employees this year, the increase in their salaries was suspended until January 1, 2022. However, no one has removed the obligations on salary indexation from other employers.
According to Sergey Portenko, the trade union has repeatedly made attempts to negotiate with representatives of the Northern Shipping Company on this issue. But the scheduled meetings were canceled, and the summer vacation time worsened the problem so the employees with whom the indexation was discussed simply stopped contacting.
«The seafarers complain that there was no salary increase this year. Before that, the last indexation was in 2016, and their dissatisfaction is absolutely understandable. In the meantime, the company is delaying making a decision. If the issue is not resolved in the near future, there is a legal right to appeal to the prosecutor's office and the State Labor Inspectorate to protect the rights and interests of employees», - said Sergey Portenko.
Actual regulation on wage indexation, adopted without the participation of the trade union and taking into account the opinion of the elected trade union body, is not even an annex to the collective agreement. Some points of this document, according to Sergey Portenko, are unacceptable for application and at least very controversial.
He noted that the employee's right to indexation of wages does not depend on the discretion of the employer, and indexation should be carried out regardless of whether the procedure for its implementation is fixed in local acts or not (The definition of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in the definition of 28.11.2019 No. 3163-O). That is, commercial organizations in 2021 should index the salaries of their employees, despite all economic and sanitary restrictions.
Even in the ruling of 19.11.2015 No. 2618-O, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognized that indexation is not just an employer's right, but a state guarantee, which in any case should be provided to all persons working under an employment contract. At the same time, the Labor Code of the Russian Federation does not allow an employer who is not related to the budget sphere to deprive employees of the guarantee provided for by law and avoid regular salary indexation.
Sergey Portenko stressed that the terms of indexation indicated in the order of the President of the Russian Federation, that is, from February 1, 2021, have not been met, and this is already a violation.
Failure to index salaries is the basis for bringing the employer and its officials to administrative responsibility. Moreover, fines will be imposed not under Article 5.31 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation for violation of collective agreements, but under Article 5.27 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation for violation of labor legislation. In particular, it provides for fines for legal entities for the first violation of labor legislation in terms of non – indexation of salaries from 30 to 50 thousand rubles, and for repeated-up to 70 thousand rubles. There are also penalties for officials.