« Civilians' In the Footprint: The Battle Over Atlantic Yards Begins Nov. 12 | Main | From "Intractable Democracy": Ron Shiffman on ACORN, Atlantic Yards, and shifting his position on CBAs »

November 12, 2010

Prokhorov draws scorn in Russia for proposal to increase work week to 60 hours (!) and change labor contracts

Atlantic Yards Report

This is a bit reminiscent of Bruce Ratner's threat to cut Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower in half.

Even as he's getting good (if shallow) press in the United States for his "exotic" status as entrepreneur, ladies' man, and owner of the Nets pro basketball team, Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov is feeling a bit of heat at home for a proposal that seems so anachronistic there must be another agenda.

In Prokhorov's Shock Modernization, the Moscow Times reports:

On the eve of National Unity Day, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, or RSPP, sent its own unique gift to the country’s workers. Kommersant reported that RSPP had prepared draft amendments to the Labor Code to increase the workweek to 60 hours and replace standard work contracts — the most common type of contract among employees containing no fixed terms — with fixed-term contracts. Another innovation dreamed up by the RSPP’s human resources committee, headed by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, would give employers the right to act unilaterally to make changes to employment contracts “for economic reasons” and would reduce the period required for giving notice to employees that such changes are imminent from two months to one month.

Is this for real? Apparently so, as it's been reported by AOL and the Moscow News.

Part of a feint?

In the Moscow Times, Boris Kagarlitsky, director of the Institute of Globalization Studies, suggests there may be some strategy afoot:

But it is possible that the proposal for a 60-hour week was intentionally leaked to reporters to first create a false panic — and then to take the idea off the table, presenting it as a “compromise” to labor groups. It could also have been intended to divert attention away from less controversial amendments to the Labor Code that would restrict the rights of employees — fixed-term contracts, for example — that they can now try to sneak through the Duma without any public discussion.

But the problem is that the public outrage has gone beyond whatever the RSPP anticipated.

link

NoLandGrab: Only 60 hours? Nets' CEO Brett Yormark works that many hours in a day. Just ask him.

Posted by eric at November 12, 2010 9:37 AM