The Russian Dairy Union has appealed to the government asking that dairy workers be exempt from deployment in order to ensure uninterrupted milk industry operation.
On 21 September, Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated Russia’s first mobilisation since the second world war. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia plans to mobilise 300,000 in reserve, though several independent media reported that this figure could be significantly higher. Pointing out paragraph 7 of the mobilisation decree, Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, refers to the number of people mobilised, which is classified.
Several groups of workers have been granted deferment from the mobilisation, including IT specialists, seafarers, and employees of the enterprises of the defense industry. The Defense Ministry said that “farm workers are subject to the mobilisation on a general basis”, meaning that no exception is made even if a milk farmer has nobody to watch over his herd, while he is absent.
The current mobilisation rules could jeopardise the Russian dairy industry operation, the Dairy Union said in the statement.
“The dairy industry has social significance and is currently following the course of sustainable national development and accelerated import substitution. To fulfill these tasks, it is of great importance to provide companies in the industry with human resources,” Lyudmila Manitskaya, chairman of the Dairy Union said in the letter.
The Dairy Union pointed out that in milk production and processing there are a number of specialties where workers cannot be fully and equally replaced without impacting technological cycles and processes, as well as a drop in production efficiency.
“The shortage of personnel, including those in specialty areas, can lead to destabilisation of the food supply to the Russian population,” the Dairy Union said.
The Dairy Union called to provide a deferment from conscription for a broad range of specialists, including food production engineers, IT specialists, electronics engineers, equipment adjusters and several others. Granting such deferment will rectify Russian food security, the Dairy Industry claimed.
During the past week, dozens of business unions have appealed to the Russian government asking for a deferment from conscription of their workers. Fears of labour shortages are exaggerated by mass immigration from Russia, as nearly 200,000 people, primarily men of the conscription age, have fled the country in the first week since the start of the mobilisation.