Medvedev calls for police to leave trade unions alone

Law enforcement and security forces should not put pressure on trade unions and interfere in their legal activities, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday, citing complaints about repressive measures taken by police to curb peaceful labor rallies.

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

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

Medvedev said neither the police nor the Prosecutor General’s Office has the right to put pressure on trade unions. “This is unacceptable,” he said.

Kravchenko gave the president documents containing information about repressive police action against trade unions. Medvedev promised to hand them over to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Interior Ministry.

Russia plans to ratify 15 International Labor Organization conventions in 2011, Medvedev said.

Russian labor legislation must meet international standards and is indispensible for the country’s integration into the global economy, the president added.

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