In Russia, May 1 is no longer celebrated as International Workers Day. It was replaced in 1992 by a more neutral holiday: “Spring and Work,” a break with the Soviet tradition, strongly supported by the then President Boris Yeltsin.
This year, the traditional event of the Federation of Russian Independent Trade Unions (FSIR) was held on Red Square. This event attracts concerts, food stands and tens of thousands of people.
The definition of union, according to the FSIR, which claims to have over 21 million members, is actually inappropriate. Since the USSR times, the Federation in fact plays only corporate functions related to “equalitarian” management of companies with their counterparts and does not promote any assertive action.
Thus, for years, the combative Russian Confederation of Labor, founded about 20 years ago and representing about 2.5 million workers, no longer participates in the official event. On Sunday, “we will have a big concert at the Recnovo Vokzal Park, while on May 1, we decided to hold an internationalist initiative, a protest outside the Kazakhstan embassy against the repression workers of that country have been suffering for years,” says the secretary of the Russian Confederation of Labor, Boris Kravcenko.