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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Employment regulation in national contexts: Russia

P. 427-449.
Kozina I., Ashwin S.

Russia has undergone a historic transformation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and employment relations are central to understanding the outcomes of this change. On the eve of reform, the trade unions inherited from the Soviet past were the sole organizations of civil society even theoretically able to impose social constraint on Russia’s new ruling elite. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) – the successor organization to the soviet trade unions – entered the transition with a union density of nearly 99 per cent, but also with a history of subordination to management and the political authorities. As will be seen, the unions proved unable to escape their dependence, and therefore failed to provide effective representation of workers’ interests during economic reform. This gave the economic reformers a free hand, with disastrous consequences.