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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Duma Leaders Agree to Revamp Draft Labor Code

State Duma leaders agreed Tuesday to cancel Thursday’s scheduled vote on the new Labor Code and instead work on a compromise bill.

The debate over the Labor Code has pitted the Cabinet against unions, who say the government’s proposed code would strip workers of all protections and security. Government officials say the alternative version drawn up by pro-labor Duma deputies contains old-fashioned ideas not suitable for a market economy.

The Duma Council — a body of leading legislators that sets the Duma’s agenda — decided to cancel the vote and set up a working group to come up with a compromise proposal by the spring.

Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov told journalists that Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov had requested that the council postpone the vote.

Both government officials and union leaders said they welcomed the decision.

"To pass such a law in an atmosphere of conflict would be wrong," said Mikhail Dmitriyev, first deputy minister of economic development and trade. "This bill will affect everyone."

Dmitry Kuprov, an aide to Duma Deputy Andrei Isayev, a labor leader and one of the authors of the alternative code, said the government’s request to postpone the vote was proof that it had failed to drum up support for its bill.

But six of the nine Duma factions had voiced support for the deputies’ draft, Kuprov said, adding that the draft is likely to serve as the foundation for the revamped code.

Kuprov said unions would not cancel a series of scheduled protests of the government draft in light of Tuesday’s decision. A rally near the Bolshoi Theater is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon and unions have said they expect 8,000 people to participate. You can download the government's proposed labor code here. Labor movement site.