Medvedev says to protect trade unions from police

Security forces should not put pressure on trade unions and interfere in their work, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday, citing complaints on harsh measures taken by police to curb peaceful labor rallies.

Trade Union campaigns are frequently “classified as extremist actions,” Boris Kravchenko, head of the All-Russian Labor Confederation said at a meeting with Medvedev, adding that cases when police dispersed such rallies have been spotted in Moscow, Tver, and the Leningrad Region.

“We ask you to instruct the Interior Ministry not to interfere into trade unions’ legal activities,” he told the president.

Medvedev emphasized in reply that neither the police, nor the Prosecutor General’s Office has the right to put pressure on trade unions. “It’s unacceptable!”

Kravchenko gave the president documents containing materials on harsh police measures against trade unions and promised to hand them over to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Interior Ministry.

He also said that in 2011, Russia plans to ratify 15 International Labor Organization conventions. Compliance between the Russian labor legislation and international standards is indispensible for the country’s integration into the global economy, the president added.

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