Western companies still pay more than 188,000 workers in Russia: FT analysis

  • At least 188,000 workers in Russia remain on the payrolls of big Western companies, according to an analysis by the FT.
  • Dozens of Western multinationals say they withdrew from Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine.
  • The FT said some companies had not confirmed whether or not they were paying staff in Russia.

Big Western companies are still paying at least 188,000 workers in Russia despite promises to cut business activity in the country, according to a Financial Times analysis.

The FT said it is likely that even more workers are still being paid by Western multinationals because companies such as Coca-Cola and Yum Brands, the owner of KFC, have not confirmed whether they have yet or no staff in Russia on their payroll.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, more than 750 companies have said they will withdraw from the country to some extent, according to the Yale School of Management. This includes well-known brands such as Spotify, Disney and Apple.

Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh said in early April that his company was still paying more than 800 employees in Russia.

Under Russian law, companies that have suspended operations in the country still have to pay workers based there, Peter Finding, labor lawyer at Fisher Broyles, told the FT.

According to the FT, employees in the retail, manufacturing and consumer sectors faced the greatest risk of losing their jobs if their employers decided to remain closed, unlike white-collar companies which could move their employees to new sites.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Monday that 200,000 Russians in the capital were at risk of becoming unemployed.

Sobyanin added that 58,000 workers would benefit from an employment support program, worth about $41 million, which has been approved by the city.

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