Practical work aimed at collective disputes resolution

Labour arbitration court for settlement of collective labour disputes provides practical assistance to parties of social partnership in labour disputes resolution, that is, consultations, meetings with disputing parties, assistance in preparing documents and so on.

The key issues considered in the Labour arbitration court are disputes between employees and employers, not regulated at signing collective contacts and agreements as well as conflicts connected with non-performance of collective contracts and agreements.

In the second six months of 2002 and 2003, 70 people addresses the Labour Arbitration Court for provision of consultative assistance.

In 6 months of 2004 consultative assistance was rendered to 35 organisations (health, construction, defence, textile industry, trade, education and transport enterprises and others).

The Labour arbitration court participated in settlement of the following collective labour disputes:

  • A dispute due to including a provision on providing employees with tickets to sanatoriums and resort centres in the Sectoral agreement for the years 2003-2004

The parties have not come to an agreement during the conciliation committee and in February 2003 they addressed the Department for collective labour disputes settlement and social partnership development at the Ministry of labour and social development of the RF with a request to recommend a candidate for being a mediator. The parties signed an agreement on the candidate of the mediator and in case if negotiations with participation of the mediator do not succeed the dispute will be referred to the arbitration court for further consideration.

During the negotiations with participation of a representative of the Labour arbitration court as a mediator benefits for the year 2003 were retained. The mediator advised the parties to sign a bilateral agreement concerning provision of employees with tickets to resort centres in 2004.

  • A dispute between employees and employer concerning refusal of the employer to take into account the opinion of the trade union organization at decision making to restructure the factory which led to mass dismissal of employees (45 people)

The arbiter of the Labour arbitration court participated in two sessions of conciliation committee but the parties did not come to an agreement and the employees were dismissed in compliance with point 7, article 77 of the Labour Code of RF due to refusal to work in connection with changing key conditions of the labour contract.

The employees received practical assistance in compiling statement of claim and representation for addressing regular court. The parties authorized the arbiter of the Labour arbitration court to present their interests in court.

The dispute was considered in favour of the employees.

  • A conflict between employees and employer concerning illegal instructions to liquidate production and to make employees redundant (50 people) which violated conditions of a collective contract.

The labour arbitration court involved the Moscow Government, the Prefecture and the Moscow Federation of trade unions in settlement of this labour dispute. Negotiations with participation of a representative of the Labour arbitration court resulted in maintaining the production and jobs.

  • A dispute due to disagreement between employees and employer concerning negotiating wages at signing a collective labour contract for 2003-2005. During the conciliation committee the parties have not come to an agreement and decided to continue dispute consideration with participation of a mediator. A candidate from the Labour arbitration court was confirmed. A meeting was held with participation of the parties and the mediator.

Result: the conflict was settled.

  • A conflict between employees and employer of a light industry enterprise concerning selling shares that belonged to the employees and threat of changing the specialization of the enterprise.

In April 2004 a meeting of employees was held with participation of an arbiter of the Labour arbitration court. At this meeting the employees learnt about their rights and possible consequences if the majority holding is sold.

  • A dispute concerning the liquidation of production and the further mass dismissal of employees at one of Moscow enterprises.

The dispute was settled with participation of a mediator, the head legal adviser of the industrial trade union of Moscow, an arbiter of the Labour arbitration court. The materials were sent to the Moscow tripartite commission on regulating social and labour relations. By instructions of the committee of the State labour inspection the activities of the enterprise were checked.

The Department of the federal employment service in Moscow was to take measures aimed at supporting and providing additional guarantees to the dismissed workers.

Result: at the general employees' meeting an agreement between the employees and the employer was signed on decreasing the number of dismissed employees by not more than 40% and on paying additional compensation to the dismissed employees.

  • A dispute on violation of a collective contract including illegal calculation of working time based on summing up with accounting period of one year (in compliance with the collective contract accounting period is one month), refusal to provide employees with leave in summer time.

The labour dispute between the employees and the employer was settled due to collaborate efforts of a labour arbiter from the Labour arbitration court, the head legal inspector of the Moscow industrial trade union, labour arbiter - an inspector of the State labour inspection.

Result: an agreement between the employer and a representative body of employees was signed concerning performance of provisions of the collective contract of the enterprise.

Thus, the Labour arbitration court is a body aimed at settlement of conflict situations between employees and employers. The parties in conflict often have fundamentally different approaches to key issues of collective labour disputes. Presently the Labour arbitration court deals with such tasks as trying to help the parties to come to an agreement, looking for ways out of a conflict situation, trying to achieve a compromise that could satisfy both parties in conflict.