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Governor Sumin sets priorities for trade unions

Governor of Chelyabinsk Region Petr Sumin had a meeting with the regional trade union committee in order to look into the crisis-defying measures taken by both the federal and regional authorities. According to the spokesperson for the Governor, Petr Sumin spoke about the importance of trade unions in overcoming the global financial crisis.

‘The most important thing at the moment is to protect the people, that is, workers, from the social hardships, and to preserve the unique human potential. The trade unions are now the only well-structured and efficient social force within this country’s economy, the essential link between the employer and the employee,’ he said.

Governor Sumin also spoke about a number of top priority socio-economic challenges to be met. Firstly, it’s necessary to keep and create jobs, as the number of the unemployed in the region has already tripled since the outbreak of the crisis. The local government came up with a special program aimed at creating 20,000 jobs and re-training 21,000 people by the end of the year.

Next, the number of laid-off workers has already been reduced from 100,000 to 70,000.

Then, the enterprises’ debts have been reduced from 156 million RUR to 71 million RUR.

‘We just can’t let this happen. Crisis or no crisis, there will always be businesspeople willing to take advantage of the circumstances and profiteer, perhaps. This is why trade unions have to be very careful in protecting their members,’ the Governor said.

Another task is the economic modernization of the country, the region, and each and every enterprise.

‘Fighting the crisis is not only about the defensive but also about the offensive. We must concentrate on the technical upgrades, the power saving, and increased labor productivity.’ The Governor feels workers must prepare themselves for an economic surge as well as a technological breakthrough.
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