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Meeting with BRICS trade union representatives

July 9, 2015, Ufa

Vladimir Putin met with trade union representatives from the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

The Russian President noted that the  BRICS nations are the world leaders in unemployment reduction rates. He also said BRICS leaders would consider the suggestions prepared by the trade union organisations for this summit.

Russia was represented at the meeting by Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Mikhail Shmakov.

* * *

Speech at a meeting with representatives of the BRICS trade union organisations

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Hello, friends,

It is a pleasure to welcome here in Ufa the leaders of the BRICS trade union organisations. I would like to begin by saying that cooperation in the social sphere, in matters of labour and employment are undoubtedly a priority for us, just as it is for any government.

Otherwise, there’s the big question of what we are working for. In the final count, this is our target. In the course of Russia's presidency, we did our best to get the trade unions, business and academic community and youth organisations engaged in this work to the maximum, and we provided every assistance in arranging a trade union forum on the sidelines of the Ufa Summit.

The chairman of our trade unions informed me that you are preparing corresponding recommendations for the BRICS leaders, and we will consider them carefully.

On Russia's initiative, the first conference of the BRICS labour ministers will take place in January of next year. It will focus on creating new quality jobs, enhancing labour mobility and adjusting social integration processes. These are all very important tasks, in which we are already making headway.

The member states of this organisation are world leaders in unemployment reduction, which is one of the top criteria in assessing economic efficiency. We are working to bring down the so-called unreported employment and are creating new jobs.

At the same time we are fully aware of the numerous tasks still facing us. We need to join the efforts of our states, trade unions and employers to improve the system of labour market regulation, protection of workers' interests and ensuring their rights.

Modernisation of the economy, introduction of modern technology raises the workers' qualification requirements. We definitely need to raise the level of professional education and develop a new system of professional standards that would serve as a guideline for professional education programmes.

In this connection I would like to mention the Russian Agency for Strategic Initiatives, which is successfully implementing an entire complex of projects to stimulate interest in professional education among young people. I believe this experience may be useful for other BRICS members.

The employment services’ work should also be taken to a new level. They are to provide up-to-date information on available vacancies and find jobs that match the candidate's skills and education, and not only near their home, but also in other regions that may have a workforce deficit.

The problem of reducing the unofficial “grey” employment is of primary importance for the BRICS nations. The Russian Government is drafting proposals on a set of measures to encourage employers to develop the official sector, pay official salaries and contribute to the budget by paying social taxes.

This is also in the interests of the employees, as the official salary goes to ensure their social rights, one of the most important one being pensions. Such measures might include the creation of more comfortable conditions for doing business, providing access to preferential sources of funding and encouraging investment.

The joint work by the BRICS nations to develop the labour market would be impossible without harmonising such key indicators as the growing number of able-bodied citizens, labour productivity in agriculture and industry, employment among young people and women, and the level of occupational injuries and diseases. For this purpose Russia has initiated the creation of a single BRICS information resource.

But first of all, I would like to hear what you have to say. Therefore, I conclude my opening remarks here and I am happy to give the floor to the Chairman of the Russian Federation of Independent Trade Unions Mr Shmakov.


July 9, 2015, Ufa