The laws of capitalism are inexorable. Faced with the crisis due to the devaluation of the ruble and the COVID-19 pandemic, the business started hastily “optimizing” costs. The most convenient target is hired workers. The “invisible hand of the market” is already on their throats. According to a study by the Center for Strategic Research (CSR), 29% of Russian companies have cut the staff or reduced the payroll, and about 40% of companies intend to do so in the near future. Russian “stability” is collapsing like a house of cards.
The survey was conducted among top managers of 500 companies, from microorganizations to large capital. It showed the extreme uncertainty of the business (mainly small and medium) in the future. 26% of companies reported a decrease in revenues, while another 44% expected this any day. 56% of companies are afraid of not fulfilling their contractual obligations due to the pandemic. Finally, 63% said they were at risk of bankruptcy. 88% of companies want tax benefits from the state. Many businesses took the statement of President Vladimir Putin about the non-working week with indignation.
As for the destiny of hired workers, the results of the study are very self-illustrative:
29% of companies have already carried out a comprehensive “optimization” of their costs at the expense of employees and their salaries.
40% of companies are planning to carry out such an “optimization” in the near future.
50% of companies intend to lay off some of their employees.
20% of companies are planning to lower salaries.
Comprehensive “optimization” means the application of part or all of the above measures:
Actual reduction in salary (through cutting off bonuses, allowances, etc.),
Transferring employees to remote work while reducing salaries,
Transferring employees to fixed-term contracts with a lower salary.
In ordinary times, these measures also hurt ordinary wage earners. Now their severity has been aggravated many times. First, the devaluation of the ruble in itself led to higher prices. Therefore, even while maintaining the nominal value of the salary, its purchasing power decreased. The decrease in wages is a double robbery. Secondly, the crisis has already put small and medium-sized businesses on the brink of ruin, and this, in turn, will cause a surge in unemployment. Finding a new job in such conditions becomes extremely difficult. Thus, the efforts made by businesses to save themselves repeatedly exacerbate all the social contradictions in Russian society.
For many years, the ruling class in Russia has “optimized” healthcare, education, and other social networks. The main concern of the authorities was the “development” of profits from the sale of natural resources of Russia. As a result, a system was built that could not withstand any serious crisis. Now that this crisis has come, the bourgeoisie is trying to transfer its burdens onto the shoulders of ordinary workers. People are fired, salaries are cut, they are forced to work without protective equipment, and they are threatened with criminal prosecution for asserting their rights. However, not all workers agree to endure this. Everywhere, from the United States to Greece, they reasonably say to the capitalists: “Pay yourself for your crisis!”
The national crisis approaching Russia is not an occasion to “show understanding” and keep breaking your back for “your” capitalist. This is an occasion to strengthen the class struggle with those who brought society to an extreme degree of degradation.