Cooperation with the EU countries. Training for labour arbiters

Above all, it should be mentioned that the International labour organization and international project of the European Union Tacis played an important role in establishing the Labour arbitration court. Such interaction makes it possible to use international experience of labour disputes resolution.

In January 2003 the Labour arbitration court participated in the International conference that took place in Belgium dedicated to the role of non-governmental organizations and regional authorities in creation of Civil society. A decision was made to implement EU Tacis project "Strengthening conciliation and arbitration for collective labour disputes settlement at the regional level in the Russian Federation based on examples of the city of Berlin and Moscow (support of the Moscow labour arbitration court)".

The project was implemented by the Moscow Government through the Public relations committee of Moscow, the Berlin Senate through the Senate Department for Economy, Labour and Women, and by the Institution "The labour arbitration court for collective labour disputes settlement" with active participation of Moscow social partners: The Moscow Federation of trade unions and the Moscow Confederation of manufacturers and entrepreneurs (employers).

The project started on 19.12.2002 and was planned to be 18 months long. The following specialists participated in the project: representatives of the Berlin Senate, judicial bodies of Germany, arbiters of the Labour arbitration court, representatives of Moscow social partners, representatives of legislative and executive federal bodies of the Russian Federation.

Eight activities were organized in the framework of the programme developed by the participants of the project "Strengthening conciliation and arbitration for collective labour disputes settlement at the regional level in the Russian Federation based on examples of the city of Berlin and Moscow": two conferences, a simulation game, four seminars, a study tour to Germany and England. Seminars organized in the project combined both practical and theoretical knowledge:

The following activities were implemented in 2003:

  • 2 seminars,
  • a simulation game,
  • a conference,
  • a study tour to England and Germany.

Training started in May 2003 with a simulation game "Resolution of collective disputes in Russia" organized in the framework of the international project.

In the course of the simulation game labour arbiters were tested in order to identify to what extend they are ready to participation in labour disputes settlement.

The testing results made it possible for the organizers to correct the training programme where necessary.

At the seminar in June 2003 labour arbiters and social partners studied mechanisms of observance of collective interests in Russia and Germany. This helped to identify differences in the procedures of conflict settlement in these countries.

In September 2003 a seminar was held dedicated to studying experience and structure of collective labour disputes settlement in Germany, Great Britain, Spain. Experts' reports were interesting and detailed.

A study tour of labour arbiters and social partners to Germany and London in October 2003 verified the conclusion that experience of labour disputes settlement in these countries and the long-established and developed system can be used in our country as well.

The activities of the international project allowed choosing the correct guidelines for creating the Russian system of pre-trial labour disputes settlement.

The fact that it is necessary to create such a system was verified at the scientific conference "Prospects for development in Russia of the system for collective and individual labour disputes settlement", which was held in Moscow on 17-18 November 2003. The Moocow Government, the Moscow Federation of trade unions, the Moscow confederation of manufacturers and entrepreneurs, the Institution "Labour arbitration court for collective labour disputes settlement" initiated and organized the conference.

420 representatives of legislative, executive, judicial authorities, associations of trade unions and employers, labour bodies, scientists from 52 regions of the RF subjects including 36 regions, 13 republics, 3 districts/kray, 2 independent districts/okrug, heads of 6 territorial bodies on collective labour disputes settlement participated in the conference. Representatives of international organizations were involved in the conference including representatives of the European Union, representatives of the international project "Labour legislation and arbitration".

Conference participants worked in two sections: individual labour disputes and collective labour disputes.

At the plenary meeting the participants adopted a resolution with a number of measures aimed at increasing the efficiency of labour disputes resolution including the following: creation of a system of "labour arbitration courts" for settlement of collective labour disputes and authorizing them to participate in conflict settlement at the stage of pre-trial resolution of individual labour disputes in the framework of social partnership.

Thus, the conference participants confirmed the necessity to establish an institution of pre-trial resolution of labour disputes including the regions of the Russian Federation.

The Labour arbitration court took part in preparing a book with materials of the all-Russian scientific conference "Prospects for development in Russia of a system for collective and labour disputes settlement".

Minutes of reports, conference materials were published in a book with reference number ISBN 5-902721-02-4. The book is targeted at heads and specialists of legislative and executive authorities, federal judges, specialists of the Russian judicial system, scientists and pedagogues, trade union officials and representatives of employers' associations.

The Labour arbitration court sent the book to the regions of the Russian Federation.

In 2004 in the framework of the international project "Strengthening conciliation and arbitration for collective labour disputes settlement at the regional level in the Russian Federation based on examples of the city of Berlin and Moscow" training for arbiters was continued. The following activities were organized:

  • two seminars on studying the mechanism of mediation and conciliation,
  • final conference on the results of the international project.

At a seminar in April 2004 in the Berlin house on the subject of "Resolution of collective labour disputes with participation of a mediator in Germany" participants were resolving a real conflict situation at a Berlin constructing enterprise without any theoretical preparation.

Following the practical seminar, in May 2004 Horst Waigand, the Land Mediator of the Senate Department for economy and labour of the Land Berlin, organized a theoretical seminar on the subject "Mediation and conciliation procedures and instruments used for labour disputes settlement".

It is necessary to emphasize that during training of labour arbiters non-traditional training methods were used. These methods were considered to be efficient as the seminar participants could evaluate by themselves the decisions made during labour conflicts settlement.

Labour arbiters received negotiating skills, studied psychology of parties in labour conflicts resolution, psychology of mediators; they learnt to understand each other and to find compromises.

Project participants came to the following conclusion: individual and collective labour disputes are of the same nature. This project examines if it is possible to use the institute of labour arbitration for individual labour disputes settlement.

On 11 June 2004 in Berlin House a conference was held dedicated to the results of the international project of the European Union TACIS/ JBPP No. 35 851 "Strengthening conciliation and arbitration for collective labour disputes settlement at the regional level in the Russian Federation based on examples of the city of Berlin and Moscow (support of the Moscow labour arbitration court for settlement of collective labour disputes)".

40 people participated in the conference including labour arbiters, social partners, Tacis experts:

From the Moscow Government - Vladimir Mikhailovich Romanov, Deputy Chairman of the Public Relations Committee of Moscow,

From the Berlin Senate - Horst Waigand, Mediator of the Land of Berlin,

From the EC Delegation in Russia - Nicola Skaramutso,

From the Berlin Senate - Catherine Homann, a representative of the Senate Department for Economy, Labour and Women,

From the Institution "Labour arbitration court for collective labour disputes settlement" - Anatoly Frizanovich Valkovoy, the

Director of the Institution,

From the Department for collective labour disputes settlement and social partnership development at the Ministry of Labour and social development of the Russian Federation - Viktor Nickolayevich Alexeev, Deputy Head of Department,

From the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions (MFTU) - Tamara Vasilievna Chernyakova, Deputy Head of the MFTU,

From the Moscow Confederation of manufacturers and entrepreneurs (employers) - Rudolf Mikhailovich Paramonov, responsible secretary of the Association of manufacturers and entrepreneurs of the South-Eastern administrative district of Moscow.

The final conference received a positive evaluation by the representatives of social partnership parties, labour arbiters.

Vladimir Mikhailovich Romanov, the Chairman of the Public Relations Committee of Moscow, made a report on behalf of the Moscow Government. He expressed his gratitude to the European Union for the opportunity provided by the international project to study in more detail best practice in Europe in the field of system approach to collective labour disputes settlement. One of the most important issues is training of qualified specialists in the sphere of collective labour disputes settlement. The International project has provided great support in training of labour arbiters.

Horst Waigand, the Mediator of the Land Berlin, has pointed out prospects of further cooperation of the two cities. The German delegation has suggested organizing annual meetings in Berlin and Moscow including representatives of the Labour Arbitration court in the delegation from Moscow for experience exchange in the field of labour disputes settlement.

The training results in the framework of the international project were reflected in the book "Review of issues concerning labour disputes settlement in the EU countries". This book can be used in practical work with labour arbiters and social partners. Video-materials were prepared to be used in training programmes.

Materials of the final conference are sent to be published in Mass Media including the central trade unions' newspaper "Solidarity", the newspaper of the Moscow Confederation of manufacturers and entrepreneurs "Community", the newspaper of South-Eastern administrative district "Ryazanskaya council", Northern administrative district "The Moscow North", the Journal "Arbitration court" of Saint Petersburg.

The conference materials can be found at the web-site of the Labour Arbitration Court www.trudsud.ru