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"Ex-Minister helps Bolshoi tackle its woes"


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#1 Buddy

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 12:41 PM

This is a very interesting, possibly very hopeful,  report from Ismene Brown. It's about how former Russian Minister of Labor, Alexander Pochinok, is trying to help settle labor matters at the Bolshoi. It also has very important implications for the Mariinsky. I've started reading the article, but it seems significant enough to mention now in case others would like to take a careful look at it, as I hope to do. Here are a few quotes. 
 
"Alexander Pochinok, Minister for Labour from 2000-4 and now a Russian Federation Council member, is a prominent economist and a frequent advocate of more modern ideas of political understanding and free expression.
 
"Pochinok’s main initiative, he says, was to introduce outside union experts to advise the Bolshoi performers union. He stresses in the interview that Russian employment law already exists to protect workers, and that workers need to know and use existing legislation better than they do. 
 
"He also says that a new works agreement at the Bolshoi would address problems nationwide in the theatres, which hints at a more strategic reason for the government to act. One surmises a new government-backed theatre practices agreement at the Bolshoi would affect the Mariinsky, where ballerina Daria Pavlenko has been at loggerheads with general director Valery Gergiev over what she has described as long-outdated working practices formulated in Soviet times."
 
 
(Thanks to 'UK' forum for posting this)
 
 
Added quote:
 
"When will the process be complete, when could an agreement come into force?
 
"It's down to the elementaries - there are time limits in which the theatre administration needs to come to the negotiating table, there are regulations that govern negotiations. People simply aren't good at using Russian law, and in fact the Labour Code actually allows for very good talks to be held. It is only necessary to observe the law scrupulously."


#2 volcanohunter

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:02 PM

 

His intervention appears to indicate a government nudge to get both the Bolshoi Theatre’s management and employees to address the problems that have drawn opprobrium worldwide.

 

I'm not sure this conclusion is warranted. Pochinok has not been a government minister for nine years, and as the original article states, he represents the Civic Platform party, not Vladimir Putin's United Russia party. Mikhail Prokhorov, founder and leader of Civic Platform, ran against Putin in the 2012 presidential elections. I wouldn't really expect the government to side with the employees of any Russian theater. I would naturally expect it to back theater administrations, which serve at the government's pleasure.



#3 Buddy

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 02:46 PM

Thanks for these clarifications, volcanohunter. I'm not at all familiar with politics in Russia. Still it looks like Alexander Pochinok is trying to move things in the right direction by informing everyone of what recourses are available. We can hope for the best.



#4 volcanohunter

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:00 PM

Every theater has more employees than bigwigs. There are worse ways to build up your party base. wink1.gif



#5 Buddy

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:19 PM

You can always hope for more. At least the matter is being kept in the public eye. I would hope that that's for the good.



#6 volcanohunter

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:40 PM

To be sure, I hope he succeeds for the sake of the dancers of the Bolshoi, the Mariinsky and every other company in Russia. We just shouldn't assume that any plan he devises has the government's imprimatur and must therefore be accepted by the Bolshoi's administration.




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