Multinational companies continue to pay around 200,000 employees based in Russia despite pledges to suspend or end activities in the nation, raising fears of mass sackings or nationalisations as hopes fade for a swift end to the war in Ukraine.
From McDonald’s to Renault, a string of western companies committed to paying thousands of employees’ wages when they halted operations in the nation last month. Several reports show that at least 188,000 employees continue to be on the payroll.
The real number is likely to be far higher, as large employers, including KFC owner Yum Brands and Coca-Cola, have not confirmed whether they are still paying staff.
The reports comes following Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin warned on Monday that among workers at foreign-owned companies in the Russian capital, “around 200,000 employees are at risk of losing their jobs,” stated authorities had approved a support plan worth Rbs 3.36 billion ($41.4 million) for those at risk.
While white-collar employers such as Boston Consulting Group, Linklaters and McKinsey are transferring workers to roles in different nations, blue-collar workers in manufacturing, retail and consumer sectors risk bearing the brunt of job losses should companies see no imminent prospect of reopening.
Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss chief executive, said this month the jeans brand was still paying its 800-plus employees in Russia. But he added, “the way things are going now, I am not optimistic we will back in business in full force any time soon.”