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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 2, 2001

2 May 2001
Trade Unions Demand Payment of Back Wages...
Some 4,000 people took part in May Day celebrations in Kazan and to demand the payment of back wages and improved working conditions, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. Trade Union chair Tatyana Vodopyanova condemned the draft federal labor code for harming the rights of working people. Other union leaders noted that workers in Tatarstan are owed more than one billion rubles ($34 million) in back wages.

...As Communists Call for Redistribution of National Wealth
Later that day, the branch of the Russian Communist Party convened a meeting of some 4,000 people at which party leaders denounced the policies of Moscow and Kazan for supposedly benefiting the oligarchs at the expense of the working class. After the speeches, the communists laid flowers at the city's Lenin monument.

Prime Minister Inspects Kama Area Farms
Rustam Minnikhanov visited the rural regions of the Kama area to see how well-prepared they are for spring sowing, Tatarstan State Radio reported. After his two day visit, the prime minister said that things were in good shape.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Communists Celebrate 1 May In Ufa
Some 700 elderly people participated in May Day celebrations organized by the Russian Communist Party, RFE/RL reported from Ufa. Duma deputy (Communist) Valentin Nikitin called for higher salaries and pensions and lower rents. Participants told RFE/RL that the holiday was a spiritual one for them even though current conditions are difficult.

Satellite TV to Bring Internet to Highlands
Satellite TV broadcasting will allow outlying regions of Bashkortostan to get direct Internet access to Bashkir television, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi