Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a working meeting with TMK Chairman of the Board Dmitry Pumpyansky
11 february 2011
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Pumpyansky, judging from the results of last year, your group hasn't just been able to fully overcome the economic crisis – it is growing and has become the world leader in this sector.
Dmitry Pumpyansky: That's true, Mr Putin. Our group became the world's largest steel pipe manufacturer last year. We saw the demand for our products drop in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, but it picked up again last year, thanks largely to investment programmes for renovating all of our Russian plants and the dividends yielded by those investments, as well as orders from our major customers, which include Gazprom, Transneft, and leading Russian oil companies.
Also, we posted record-high rates on supply and sales revenues last year, not just compared with pre-crisis levels but on an absolute scale. TMK currently operates 23 pipe-making plants in Russia, the United States, Romania, and Kazakhstan.
Vladimir Putin: How many people do you employ, all told?
Dmitry Pumpyansky: TMK employs 44,000 people, 37,000 of whom are based in Russia. But if we include the staff working for us under outsourcing programmes (and we also see them as part of our team), the overall number is 60,000.
Vladimir Putin: I know that your group implements ambitious, large-scale social programmes. Which would you single out as the most important?
Dmitry Pumpyansky: First and foremost, we believe that modernisation and the renovation of production facilities should go hand in hand with steps to improve the living conditions and attitudes of the workforce. It's impossible to work at a good plant while living in a town or neighbourhood that is underdeveloped. And since almost each of our plants forms the nucleus of a surrounding community, we attach a great deal of importance to the maintenance of public utilities facilities and housing construction.
This year, TMK launched a large-scale project to build four townships for its employees in the Sverdlovsk Region (we run two plants there), as well as the Volgograd and Rostov Regions. A total of 1,600 houses are to be constructed under this project, which is to be completed within four years' time.
Vladimir Putin: You and I discussed your housing construction programmes before. I remember at the time you said that you deemed it expedient to provide most of the housing facilities for rent, while reserving the possibility of a buyout. Which option did you ultimately settle on?
Dmitry Pumpyansky: I also remember that conversation, which took place during your visit to our locomotive plant. We finally opted for a mortgage scheme in which interest will be paid by the employer of the loan recipient, and we will partially cover the down payment.
Vladimir Putin: That way you'll encourage people to stay loyal to the company.
Dmitry Pumpyansky: That's one of the ideas behind it. This programme is intended for the qualified personnel who currently form the backbone of the group and will be part of its top management in the future.
In parallel, we are also building apartment blocks, notably in the Sverdlovsk Region. We commission one or two blocks of flats annually, which are provided to interested employees on a first-come-first-served basis.
Vladimir Putin: And what's the current average wage at your company?
Dmitry Pumpyansky: Those working in production earn 23,000 – 24,000 roubles a month, depending on the region.
Vladimir Putin: And on their qualification, as well?
Dmitry Pumpyansky: Of course.