On Wednesday, Mikhail Shmakov, chairman of the Federation of Independent Trades Unions of Russia (FNPR), said that 1.7 million people would take part in May Day trades union gatherings in Russia. He pointed up that more than 1,000 cities and towns across Russia would hold rallies and marches to mark International Workers’ Day. Shmakov told us that the holiday began in 1889, to pay tribute to Chicago workers striking for an eight-hour day. He said that more than 80,000 people would take part in May Day celebrations in Moscow, which will include a large-scale rally of the FNPR, which will include members of United Russia and the all-Russia People’s Front. The KPRF, LDPR, A Just Russia, and various public organisations will hold their own May Day actions.
Kamchatka Krai will hold the first Spring and Labour Day celebrations in Russia. The central square of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia’s easternmost city, will be the open-air venue for the festivities. A festive holiday programme will feature performances of amateur art groups and the city’s brass band. Moscow will host a large-scale procession of the FNPR, with participation by United Russia members, along with the all-Russia People’s Front. The KPRF, LDPR, A Just Russia, and various social movements will hold similar Labour Day events. Over a million and a half people intend to participate in May Day trades union events in Russia.
Today, President Vladimir Putin will award the first people with the re-established Hero of Labour order. The ceremony will be at the Constantine Palace near St Petersburg. He will grant this distinction to five Russians “for outstanding performance in state, public, and economic activities”. Valery Gergiev, the outstanding conductor and art-director of the Mariinsky Theatre is one of the recipients. The Maestro trained a galaxy of world-class artists; much of his work is dedicated to supporting music ensembles and talented Russian artists. Vladimir Putin signed the decree on the re-establishment of this award on 29 March 2013. Now, the Hero of Labour is the second-highest mark of state recognition, after the Hero of Russia.
Today, in St Petersburg, President Vladimir Putin said, “We need to make good work respected again, as this is the only way we can make Russia great”. He said this when he congratulated the first recipients of the reinstated Soviet-era title of Hero of Labour. Putin told the first five winners of the much-coveted award, “This country is proud to have people like you”. Amongst the first recipients were Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, tractor driver Vladimir Melnik, prominent neurosurgeon Alexander Konovalov, and Rosatom metal worker Konstantin Chumanov. Chumanov said that Rosatom was now one of the world’s very best such companies, boasting a full portfolio of nuclear reactor orders. Mentioning the post-Fukushima safety level at existing nuclear power plants everywhere, President Putin said nuclear safety at Russian NPPs was second to none.
1 May 2013
Voice of Russia World Service
The title Hero of Labour is a Stalin-era title. You can have President Putin’s attitude to the Stalin era or you can have Victor Potapov’s attitude to the Stalin era. Most Russians (both at home and here in the diaspora) agree with President Putin, NOT Langley’s stooge Potapov… I wonder why…