LABOR MARKET REMAINS OPTIMISTIC
It’s the second year as Russian economy is opposing global financial crisis and sanctions on the part of a number of foreign states. However, even such a combination of negative factors failed to inflict it any substantial loss: factories work, banks grant loans, product ranges of supermarket chains suffered little changes, and the employment of the population is as stable as ever. Moreover, some enterprises, like, e. g., Togliattiazot, use these hard economic times to develop their production.
By President Vladimir Putin’s words, the level of unemployment in the country remains stable. “Despite a complicated situation in the global economy, Russia’s major macroeconomic parameters remain stable. One of them is the level of unemployment. We are well aware that it is a derivative of many constituents. We have it at quite a low level of 5.6%”, said the head of state two months ago. “Two recent years were difficult enough for the economy. Objective challenges hit actually all of its segments. But we should note, business on the whole has withstood”, he emphasized at the OPORY ROSSII Forum.
While foreign enterprises are winding up or cutting their production in Russia setting free a great number of skilled personnel, homeland companies are not just fighting for survival but, on the contrary, annually create hundreds of jobs.
Positive signals witnessing the labor market is functioning in the normal mode come from various regions of Russia. For example, coal-mining industry of Kuzbass created 2000 jobs last year and will create as many in 2016. Hundreds of railway workers are wanted in the capital to work at Moscow Ring Railway.
Despite the woes of economic sanctions and the muddle in the sphere of currencies, Russian enterprises continue to hire employees. Many of them provide their personnel with quite comfortable employment terms and, over the difficult economic situation, realize their personnel policies socially responsibly.
“Among big enterprises opposing unemployment, there are both champions and, so to say, non-achievers. At that, it is not always connected with conjuncture, it is also connected with the measures taken in the framework of social policies by specific enterprises”, says Boris Kagarlitsky, Director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements.
Chemical industrial complex Togliattiazot shows a good example of such an approach. Last year, the country’s biggest producer of ammonia employed 350 people. At that, the collective employment agreement includes a wide social packet and the workers are offered wide possibilities for leisure, medical care and professional growth.
While foreign enterprises are winding up their production in Russia, homeland companies are not just fighting for survival but, on the contrary, create many new jobs.
Thus, Togliattiazot possesses a large net of social objects that includes a modern health resort complex on the bank of the river Volga, a big culture and leisure center, a kindergarten housing over 200 children. Many of these facilities are used not only by the company employees but by citizens of Togliatti and Samara Region. Experienced doctors care for employees’ health, while the facilities of the plant’s medical center provide not only for regular health survey but for prophylactic medical examination and treatment of employees.
An important part of the ToAZ corporate policy is creation of conditions for individual improvement of employees. They realize themselves in profession, sports, science and culture, from the ‘silver’ at the European Old-timers’ Games to efficient scientific and practical proposals on upgrading of production processes, the best of which are immediately implemented.
By way, inventive work plays an important part in the development of the plant: today, over 100 inventions are protected by patents, most of them are implemented in production. ToAZ specialists are traditional participants of the ARCHIMEDES International Salon and of big environmental congresses; since last year, scientific and practical conferences are held for the young scientists working at the plant.
“There are two factors that condition the fact that Togliattiazot continues to develop even in the time of crisis. On the one part, they have a stable position in the world market, this provides reliability. It should be understood, however, that even the companies successively operating in the world market may differ in their social policies. So the second factor is the policy of maintaining and allocation of personnel. Perhaps you remember there was a time when production companies were encouraged to “drop off” leisure centers, medical care centers, kindergartens and non-profile assets, which companies did. But the majority of such companies lose personnel and stability. In our case, social investments pay back from the point of view of both the country and the company itself: Togliattiazot, for example, preserves the health resort center or the kindergarten, and this is a factor of stabilization of the work team, a factor of attracting experienced personnel, a factor of elementary reliability of the enterprise. As we can see now, the fact that they did not close, did not “drop off” as, by the way, liberal economists recommended us since early 90’s, shows the strategy of Togliattiazot proved right”, Mr. Kagarlitsky explains.
By his words, it is very important that with substantial cut of jobs at some enterprises in Togliatti industrial zone ToAZ preserves jobs and even increases employment, which is not simply a factor of certain success of the company but a factor of social stabilization in the city and the entire region.
“At a time when people in the region often have no sources of income one enterprise quite stably pays salaries and people are well-off, and this multiplies over to other segments, say, small trade, real estate market etc.”, the expert emphasized.
Russia is gradually overcoming the crisis, domestic production business is refocused and is already showing positive dynamics: growth of production, global upgrading of facilities, introduction of corporate social responsibility, increase of financial indices.
In view of Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, Russian companies not just withstood in the time of crisis, they showed substantial growth as well. “Russian companies achieved a very good financial result. Last year, their profit went up by 48%, that is, 1.5 times. It is over ₽ 8 trillion of additional money that may be invested, may serve a base for development,” said the minister at President Vladimir Putin’s briefing. “Processing industries also work successfully, having grown their incomes by 2.9 times. Chemistry is a real champion with its 15-fold growth”.
With substantial growth of profits and the need of expanding production, enterprises, definitely, want professionals. It is the companies that efficiently combine successful business and high social responsibility who feel more confident even in challenging economic conditions as they can offer their potential employees not just job but a full range of social bonuses and reciprocally get the personnel loyalty and active attitude to production.
Russian nitrogen fertilizer major Togliattiazot on Monday revealed the centrepiece of its new urea plant - a 107 metre tall granulation tower - had been installed and the project is 38% complete. Due for commissioning in 2021, the 2,200 tonne/day unit will reinforce the company's presence as the largest supplier of urea to the domestic market.