The Committee for the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights (in honour of Norwegian trade unionist Arthur Svensson) has announced that its fourth international prize will be awarded to IUF’s nominee Valentin Urusov.
IUF nominated Urusov who was serving five years’ imprisonment on trumped up charges after recruiting workmates in Yakutiya into a union and leading the first ever diamond miners’ industrial action in Russia (click here to read more about the case).
Following four years of international union campaigning Valentin was released on March 15, 2013. Valentin had become a symbol of resistance to corporate and state repression. Despite harsh prison conditions he refused the offer of a President’s pardon which would have meant admitting his guilt.
The prize to Urusov sends a strong signal of support for those attempting to develop a just and democratic society in the former countries of the USSR.