Workers and unionsBy Françoise Daucé
In Russia in the 2010s, employees of independent media outlets have shown renewed interest in unionism. This trend remains a mystery given the extent to which labour unions were sidelined after the collapse of the USSR and in light of the political pressures on alternative movements that are seemingly unfavourable to the emergence of labour organisations. How can workers take collective action in such circumstances? The example of the independent trade union of journalists, created in 2016, allows us to examine the political and professional struggles that have rekindled interest in collective action. In Russia, the journalists working for liberal media outlets – notably digital media – face difficulties involving political pressures and low wages. Conflicts on editorial boards generally lead to journalists being fired, resigning or rehired. In these circumstances, unionism has attracted fresh interest in order to cope with the challenges of a career affected by political pressure.