Agreement to protect migrant workers’ rights in Russia

19 April 2016 11:50

In December, BWI affiliates from Russia and Tajikistan – the Russian Construction Buidling Materials Workers Union and the Building Workers Union of Tajikistan – signed an agreement to strengthen their cooperation to protect the rights of Tajik migrant workers in the preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The construction for the 2018 World Cup will create thousands of new jobs in the 11 World Cup host cities (Moscow, St-Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Rostov on Don, Kaliningrad, Samara, Saransk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg). The regional government authorities and employers in these cities have publicly stated that they plan to employ migrant workers for these jobs.

“In Tajikistan we started to organize special pre-departure trainings for migrant workers, who are going to work in World Cup host cities, developed educational materials and made public announcements in mass media regarding the trade union commitment to protect migrant workers’ rights” – said Anoyatsho Muborakshoev, president of Construction and Building Materials Workers Union of Tajikistan.

At the same time migration regulations in Russia has changed to increase the costs for migrant workers to get legal employment status in Russia. Moreover the depreciation of the Russian currency has reduced the average income of migrant workers to half of what is was before.

Nevertheless, Russia remains to be the main destination country for Tajik migrant workers. Trade union leaders in Russia and Tajikistan has therefore agreed to pay special attention to the rights of migrant workers in relation to the 2018 World Cup.

“According to our experience one of the main challenges for Russian organizers is communication with Tajik migrants since they often speak very little Russian. To overcome this challenge it is important to find organizers who speak both the Russian and Tajik languages. Our joint work with trade unions from Tajikistan plays a crucial role to overcome this challenge. This agreement will be one of the tools we can use to outreach to migrant workers from Tajikistan,” – said Boris Soshenko, president of Construction and Building Materials Workers Union of Russia.