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Former Moscow subway employees file more than 40 lawsuits over layoffs connected to pro-Navalny protests

Source: Open Media

Russian courts have accepted lawsuits from at least 42 former Moscow subway system employees, who were laid off because they registered online to attend recent pro-Navalny demonstrations, reports Open Media.

The lawsuits demand that the Moscow subway system reinstate the fired workers and pay compensation for moral damages ranging from 30,000 ($417) to 100,000 rubles ($1,390). The court hearings are scheduled to begin on June 16.

The lawsuits were filed by employees who were forced to tender their resignations by mutual agreement, as well as those who were fired for allegedly missing work. 

Moscow subway system employees whose names appeared in a leaked database of Navalny supporters were fired en masse in early May. The workers said they were urged to resign by mutual agreement, otherwise, management would find an excuse to fire them. According to the employees, their immediate superiors said that the order to fire them “came from above.”

Alexey Navalny’s associates launched the “Freedom for Navalny!” website back in March, inviting his supporters to RSVP to their next round of countrywide demonstrations in support of the jailed opposition politician. In mid-April, reports emerged that people who had registered with the website were receiving emails containing their personal information, as well as threats that their employers would be informed of their political views. Law enforcement officers carried out checks at a number of these people’s homes.

Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, claimed that an FBK employee who had been recruited by the Russian FSB stole the registration database. The former employee in question, Andrey Gorozhanko, has denied the allegations.

Meduza later traced the leak back to people associated with the presidential administration and the president’s directorate.

According to the television channel Dozhd, mass layoffs took place not only within the Moscow subway system but also at other institutions subordinate to the city’s transport department. 

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