The Federation Council (the upper chamber of the Russian parliament) has approved the Labour Code of the Russian Federation: 104 senators voted for, 4 against and 4 abstained. Presenting the Labour Code, Andrei Vikharev, deputy chairman of the social policy committee of the Federation Council, observed that the Code's main advantage lies in creating a legal basis for the ensurance of a balance of interests for every side in labour relations, the state included. This law increases the role of trade unions in protecting the rights of workers. Now each time a worker is going to be dismissed, the opinion of his trade union must be taken into account. The Labour Code also strictly limits the working time -- the 40-hour working week is preserved. For the first time the Code determines penal sanctions for each day of delayed wage payments, said Vikharev. Chairman of the Federation Council Sergei Mironov told journalists that the adoption of the Labour Code "will make it possible to protect the rights of working people". To him, the new Labour Code "is four fifths the same as the old Code". "The new elements in it mirror the realities of today and are absolutely right," believes Sergei Mironov.