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under Soviet law, a dispute between management and employees over labor legislation or working conditions. Labor disputes are resolved through a legally established procedure in accordance with the Statute on the Procedure for the Settlement of Labor Disputes, which was ratified by an edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on May 20, 1974 (Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, 1974, no. 22, art. 325).
Labor disputes are settled by labor disputes boards (LDB’s), factory trade union committees, people’s courts, and higher administrative authorities. The LDB is the forum of first instance for the overwhelming majority of labor disputes arising between employees and management at enterprises, institutions, and organizations. An LDB is set up at all enterprises, institutions, and organizations having primary trade union organizations. It comprises an equal number of permanent representatives of the factory trade union committee and of management, the number being established by agreement. LDB’s may be set up on the shop or departmental level in enterprises where the factory trade union committee has been granted the rights of a district committee.
Representatives to LDB’s are selected for a period equal to the term of office of the factory trade union committee. The committee’s representatives are chosen by the committee as a whole; management’s representatives are named by the director of the enterprise. At enterprises where there is no factory trade union committee, the LDB comprises the trade union organizer and the director of the enterprise. The decision of the LDB may be appealed by the employee to the factory trade union committee within ten days. If no agreement can be reached between the two sides of the board, the issue can be decided by the factory trade union committee on application by the interested employee.
City district people’s courts hear labor disputes upon application by employees when the employees disagree with the decision of the factory trade union committee or when there is no factory committee or union organizer at the enterprise or organization. Management can appeal decisions of factory trade union committees to people’s courts when it believes that the decisions contravene existing labor legislation. People’s courts also hear disputes upon appeal by employees disagreeing with the decisions of LDB’s made up of union organizers and enterprise directors and at the request of procurators. The courts are the tribunal of first instance in cases involving the reinstatement of employees dismissed by management and changes in the grounds for dismissal.
Disputes arising over dismissal, transfer, changes in the grounds for dismissal, and the imposition of disciplinary punishments (as called for in list no. 1, appendix no. 1, Statute on the Procedure for the Settlement of Labor Disputes) are settled by higher administrative authorities. Disputes involving employees of scientific research institutes and departments of planning and design over dismissal or changes in the grounds for dismissal are settled by higher administrative authorities if the dismissal was the result of the recognition through the established procedure that the employee was not suitable for the position or if the dismissal was the result of the employee’s non-reelection to a new term (list no. 2, appendix no. 1, Statute on the Procedure for the Settlement of Labor Disputes).
Labor disputes arising between the members and the management of kolkhozes are usually settled jointly by the executive board of the kolkhoz and a general meeting of the kolkhoz members.
V. I. SMOLIARCHUK