On the night of November 8, Alexei Etmanov, the chair of the trade union committee at the Ford-Vsevolozhsk plant, returned home from the second shift. He parked his car in a lot and headed for his house. On Heroes Street three men jumped in his path and without uttering a word attacked Alexei. They were armed with knuckledusters.
During the tussle, Alexei managed to pull a stun weapon from his pocket and get off a shot. The cloak-and-dagger types beat a hot retreat.
Etmanov told a police investigator that in his opinion the assailants were ordinary “yobs.” However, he turned out to be wrong.
The following day, Etmanov’s deputy, Vladimir Lesik got a call on his mobile phone. The caller warned him that the nighttime incident had nothing to do with robbery or mugging.
“You got a mild chewing-out. But if you keep getting in our way, you’ll part with your life,” the anonymous caller declared.
The combative trade union at Ford-Vsevolozhsk gets in a lot of people’s way—both employers and dealers. And, by establishing the Russian Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA), the young workers of Vsevolozhsk have also gotten in the way of employers in Taganrog and Togliatti, as well as those trade union organizations that the authorities use like an “engine whistle” to let off the steam of popular rage.
It is a matter for the police to find out which of these forces attacked a labor leader with knuckledusters.
For our part, we would like to remind our sons of Lenin’s statement that a revolution is worth its salt only when it knows how to defend itself.
Trade union activists are in the process of preparing an appeal to the police to open a criminal investigation. Continue reading