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January 15, 2018

A St. Petersburg court liquidates a labor union that accepted foreign funding

A city court in St. Petersburg has sided with Attorney General’s Office and liquidated the “Workers’ Association” Interregional Trade Union. Federal prosecutors argued that the union operated as a “foreign agent,” accepting money from abroad and lobbying Russian lawmakers. The court didn’t rule on the labor union’s “foreign agent” status, but it agreed to dissolve the organization nonetheless.

A city court in St. Petersburg has sided with Attorney General’s Office and liquidated the “Workers’ Association” Interregional Trade Union. Federal prosecutors argued that the union operated as a “foreign agent,” accepting money from abroad and lobbying Russian lawmakers. The court didn’t rule on the labor union’s “foreign agent” status, but it agreed to dissolve the organization nonetheless.

According to the union’s lawyers, its foreign funding came from IndustriALL, a global union federation representing more than 50 million working people in more than 140 countries.

The Workers’ Association, which currently represents roughly 3,000 workers at 16 different Russian factories, was founded in 2006 at a Ford manufacturing plant in Vsevolozhsk. The organization has organized several strikes in the past 12 years.

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