Meeting of the Russian Trilateral Commission on the Regulation of Social and Labour Relations


Dmitry Medvedev's opening remarks:

It's been a long time since I last spoke in this room. Well, I wish you all a Happy New Year. And of course, cordial thanks to all the members of our Commission on the Regulation of Social and Labour Relations, for everything it has done, recently and over the years. I would like to say that labour relations are becoming more civilised with every passing year, even though at times heated debates flare up in this and in other forums. That is probably what the Commission is for: it brings together the employers, the trade unions, that is, representatives of hired labour and the state. It was conceived in this capacity and it works in this capacity.

I would like to say that our labour legislation is also changing, not least thanks to your efforts. Like all legislation, labour legislation, in my opinion, should be reasonably conservative, it should not be extreme. It cannot be like it was, for example, during the Soviet period, but at the same time it should not reflect the preferences of just one or another party to labour relations. This is the kind of harmony and balance we should strive for. You see, I often hear from people who are prominent in our country what should be done with labour legislation, to labour regulation, and sometimes these are simply extremist proposals that would upend the whole country. I have to explain that the Government and the state do not entertain any such ideas. On the other hand, we understand that our country, everyone – trade unions, employers and the state – are interested in work places that are efficient and modern so that we do not just keep the status quo we inherited from another time, but evolve these relations. I believe this has been the main thrust of your efforts recently.

Once again I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to you for the great work you are doing in difficult conditions; but that's normal, this speaks about the quality of your work. Gathered in this room are leaders. I would like to thank you for everything that has been accomplished recently. I think in the last few years we have found a good format for communication and have set a good pace for communication. It is important to maintain that pace.

A long winter holiday lies ahead. The nation made that choice in its time. I wish all of you a good rest and time to recharge your batteries in order to continue our joint work. Thank you very much.

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