Provocation Against One of the Leaders of the Russian Dockers Union

Article translated from issue 7 (65), May 2000 of the The Russian Marxist paper Workers Democracy

On May 3rd a number of workers, members of the Russian Dockers Union, appeared at the administration of port organisations with just demands related to the index of wages and the maintainance of the terms of collective bargaining. The negotiations between the union and the administration took place within the bounds of the law concerning the settling of collective work disputes.

On the evening of May 5th, the car of one of the members of the port committee of RPD of the sea port of St.Petersburg, chairman of the union committee ZAO "the 2nd stevedore company", Stanislav Fomichev, one of the most active participants of the negotiations, was detained for examination right by the entrance of the port management building, allegedly to be carried out under the program of "Antiterror". Customs agents also turned up with trained dogs to search for narcotics. Two guards from the port's main gate were also present. When the union representatives asked to be given the surnames of these guards, the replacement chief of the guards refused.

The use of dogs in such a case wasn't known in a port where a labour dispute is under way. Fomichev's car having been sniffed inside and outside, neither narcotics or, it goes without saying, anything else suspicious was found. And then began the "search". They began with a handsearch. And of course in these hands there appeared two sachets of something. The hand of one stayed in the driver's seat pocket. The hand of the other pointed to a sachet after dipping with one into the passenger's seat pocket.

The sachets were shown not where they were supposedly discovered, but in the hands of the people who effected the "search".

S.Fomichev, after the compilation of a record of the proceedings, which he naturally refused to sign, together with his wife was sent to the water section of the militia.

The Russian Dockers Union regards the situation together with the search and arrest of S.Fomichev, as a provocation, directed at wrecking the negotiations and intimidating union activists.

The Russian Dockers Union calls on all who are not indifferent to the fate of comrade S.Fomichev, to send protest telegrams and support to the following addresses:-

  • 1) For protest: 198035, St.Petersburg, Dvinskaya street, 10, kop.2
    fax (812)251-98-83 to the Baltic Public Prosecutor, Malov, Victor Veniaminovich
  • 2) For support: 198035, St.Petersburg, Mezhovoy canal,5, kom. 112
    fax (812)251-10-96 Port Committee RPD of the Moskovsky port of St.Petersburg

Article translated from issue 7 (65), May 2000 of the Russian Marxist Paper Workers' Democracy