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Russian rescuers establish first trade union

Rossoyuzspas's founding congress. Photo by Vitaliy ShayfulinRescuers from all across Russia came together in southern Siberia Thursday to set up an association that would serve as a trade union and coordinate disaster management programs nationwide. Delegates representing the Emergency Situations Ministry, as well as municipal and volunteer rescuers from 57 out of the nation's 88 regions attended Rossoyuzspas's founding congress in Kyzyl, the capital of the Tuva republic, about 2,900 miles east of Moscow. "The country's rescuers, numbering several thousands, for a long time had no association of their own, no kind of a trade union. Now they can discuss their problems and share expertise," said board member Sergei Shchetinin, of the Rescue Service of North Ossetia, a republic in southern Russia.

The new organization, to be financed with membership fees and donations, will provide material support for rescuers and their dependants and assist them in receiving medical care, Shchetinin said.

It will also coordinate disaster management at the national level, helping to implement state programs in the area, he said.

First Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Yury Vorobyov has been elected as chairman of the organization's board.

RIA "Novosti"
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