The Russian construction sector: informality, labor mobility and socialist legacies

Serezhkina, Ekaterina, Morrison, Claudio ORCID logoORCID: and Cretu, Olga (2021) The Russian construction sector: informality, labor mobility and socialist legacies. In: Work and Labor Relations in the Construction Industry An International Perspective. Belman, Dale, Druker, Janet and White, Geoffrey, eds. Routledge, London, pp. 155-182. ISBN 9781138364783, e-ISBN 9780429431135. [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/9780429431135-8-8)


This chapter analyses trends, institutions and employment practices in the Russian construction sector. Based on ethnographic research in Russia and Moldova, this study adopts a bottom-up approach privileging migrant labour’ perspective. Employment relations and work organisation are analysed to understand their impact on the quality of the labour process and workers’ well-being. The chapter includes country and industry backgrounds, their formal institutions, training and safety systems. A case study captures worker’s experiences of conditions, pay, skills and occupational safety in a highly informal and segmented labour market. The Russian construction industry has undergone significant change during the last three decades. After privatisation, it has weathered well through the 2008 global financial crisis, less so after the 2014/2015 downturn following the Ukrainian conflict and Western sanctions. An institutional framework has developed around state-sponsored self-regulated business federations and tripartite social dialogue. However, sector-specific unbalances and the general shortcomings of Russian political economy are observed. Most employers focus on short term objectives and operate under the aegis of informality. Labour has borne the brunt of these flaws, enduring managerial abuse, informal employment and appalling safety records. Official trade unions, remain unwilling or unable to act beyond government-prescribed limits. Institutional actors’ attitudes suggest that no corrective interventions should be expected. Workers’ protests and labour shortages are the most likely factors which may force medium-term policy changes.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Employment Relations group
Item ID: 28302
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Depositing User: Claudio Morrison
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2019 12:26
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2021 23:23

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