This format is well known to our population from video conferences with the Head of State, however within the USC it was used for the first time. To get together shipbuilders for a discussion of OSC present and future, a simultaneous video connection was arranged between four dozen sites in various time zones. Questions from the sites were collected in advance. Judging by the quality and number of questions, USC enterprises accepted the idea with confidence and hope. At noon Moscow time (or 19:00 Khabarovsk time) the Video Conference moderator, Chief editor of the Portnews website Nadezhda Malysheva opened the discussion, and Alexei Rakhmanov delivered a keynote speech. Having noted that the establishment of the USC fell onto the time when the domestic shipbuilding was ruled by fragmentation while most of the enterprises were lossmaking or standing idle, Alexei Rakhmanov emphasized that now the total amount of orders exceeds one trillion rubles (one third of them being non-military), while most of the enterprises have become profitable. It is thanks to uniting into the USC, shipyards and plants were able to retain dozens of thousands of jobs, and in some cases, shipyards themselves.
Time runs fast, and the USC enterprises are facing new challenges: modernization and technical upgrading, increasing efficiency and entering the market with up-to-date vessel designs that can be of interest for consumers both in Russia and abroad. It is large-scale serial production of watercraft that is a key to successful and sustainable operation, and, hence, to wages of workforce.
In their questions, most often enterprise employees touched upon the issue of labor remuneration. Some questions referred to continuous reducing labor remuneration since early 2021, others raised the issue of inequity of the piece-rate pay. But there are more systemic issues related to labor remuneration that are supposed to be resolved with the unified system of labor remuneration that us being introduced in the corporation, the main principle of which is retaining current income of each employee through a mechanism of establishing individual increments. The bonus part is still used under such system, but under the unified system of labor remuneration employees are better protected as compared to those who works under performance-based pay system.
The most important is the provision of enterprises with orders: many questions were related to specific types of ships and watercraft that could have been built at the shipyards, but are not built due to lack of orders. According to Alexei Rakhmanov, the issue of provision with orders largely depends on the enterprise itself, its reputation with potential customers, while the most effective way to raise the reputation is to perform orders in a timely and quality manner.
A question of an employee of the Admiralty Shipyards referred to building an aircraft carrier. Alexei Rakhmanov admitted that this large-scale task is beyond capabilities of any single enterprise. But it is exactly the advantage of a large corporation that it can unite resources of various enterprises to resolve large-scale issues.
Young employees that are quite numerous in the USC, were interested in a lot of various issues, but the most burning one, presumably, was housing. Wherever the USC Group member companies are major employers in town, housing construction has come to a standstill due to the change of federal legislation: in an effort to resolve issues of private housing investors, the government has modified the financing scheme of new housing development from co-investment to project financing with bank participation. Bearing this in mind, the Corporation develops draft model regulations “On Support of Employees of the USC Group Companies when Improving Housing Conditions” that will allow to continue housing construction. The better life and labor conditions will be, the stronger will be the connection between the employee and the employer, and therefore the higher will be the continuity of personnel.
From time to time new circumstances arise, and an employee has to change his or her residence. One of the issues raised was about having to move to another town and, in that respect, a possibility of being transferred from one USC company to another one. According to Alexei Rakhmanov, the Corporation is interested to retain the qualified employees who have to move for family reasons.
The USC Head also revealed the plans to conduct a USC sports and athletic contest, which is scheduled for late September after last season was missed due to the pandemic. Also, there is an idea to hold a winter sports contest, but it is under discussion: the organizers will have to identify whether there will be enough participants to provide for fair competition.
Summing up the results of the Video Conference, Alexei Rakhmanov instructed to make the communication channel between the Director General and employees permanent and promised to respond to all the questions sent in (that were not anonymous). Therefore, the discussion started at the Video Conference is to be continued.
«Feedback is likely to be the most important thing that any manager uses in his or her operation, therefore if we do not see what happens at our production sites, shipyards, design bureaus, we either somewhere lose direction or somehow make wrong decisions.»
On the Corporation development:
«When I joined the USC in 2014, we had a dozen and a half of lossmaking enterprises. Now only four of them make loss. The unified center of responsibility embodied in the Corporation allowed to literally retain a great number of assets alongside with jobs for dozens of thousands of people in various parts of the country. Last year we hit over the magic number of 100,000 employees, which is likely to confirm that shipbuilding is one of the few industries that keep creating new jobs and hiring new employees
On collaboration of shipyards:
«If we start building large passenger cruise liners or large warships like aircraft carriers, no single shipyard would be able to implement such a project on its own without internal and regional collaboration. Most likely, it will be impossible. I mean the deadlines set forth by the customer.»
On talented youth:
«I am very glad that a new generation is rising. Quite recently, our Corporation held a marine craft artistic design and aesthetics competition that presented a lot of very interesting projects. Ideas behind those projects, first, give new rough plans for diversification and, second, show capabilities of our young people who work in design bureaus. They show how wide their interests are as compared with somewhat boring issues they have to resolve in their routine work. To be honest with you, being a manager, I have not expected that we have so many talented young people. We will go on with such practice.»
On continuous education:
«Let us follow example of medical doctors, they learn through all their lives and every 25 years, depending on their specialty, they have to extend their certificates. I believe that shipbuilders should also catch up with demonstrating capabilities of modern technologies and new knowledge.»
On idle time:
«We should make all effort to completely eliminate idle time. I mean idle time incidental to lack of work scope and documentation unavailability, as we have got accustomed to do real work. In one’s work one is to get prepared to take on a rhythm, and do it gradually. Any twitching and jerking will result, first, in fluctuation of the wages, and, second, in loss of qualification»