He was born on August 12, 1949 in Moscow. After graduating from high school, he entered the Faculty of Power Engineering of the Moscow Higher Technical School named after Bauman, from which he graduated in 1972 with a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, he worked as an engineer of an enterprise of the defense industry - the Central Research Institute for Automation and Hydraulics.
In 1975-1977, he served in the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) in the Baltic States, the commander of the electro-firepower department of the missile system.
In 1986-1988 - Chairman of the Moscow City Committee of the Trade Union of Workers of the Defense Industry.
In 1988-1990 - Chairman of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Trade Union of Workers of the Defense Industry on management of labor unions.
In 1990 - Chairman of the Moscow City Council of Trade Unions.
In 1990-1994 - Chairman of the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions.
From 1993 - Chairman of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR).
From 2004 - President of the General Confederation of Trade Unions (CPSU).
In 2005, was elected vice-president of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
He is married and has a son.
The FNPR got about a thousand of hotels, resorts and vacation homes in Russia, estimated at $ 6 billion. In 1991, Mikhail Shmakov headed only part of FNPR - the Moscow Trade Union Confederation - and had at his disposal property in Moscow and the region. Among others, there were the Palace of Trade Unions Culture on Leninsky Prospekt, Central Tourist House, Izmailovo hotel complex, Spartak Yacht Club, sanatoria on Klyazma reservoir, in Pestov, Iksha and Istria and even more than hundreds of different objects.
This was the first start-up capital of Mikhail Shmakov.
Two years later Shmakov gained control over all property of FNPR. This happened with the help of political sensitivity and flexibility of the trade union boss. During the coup of 1993, the then chairman of FNPR Igor Klochkov actively supported the Supreme Council of the RSFSR. But Shmakov kept silence. As a result, Klochkov resigned and Shmakov took his place.
Source: Kommersant, September 14, 2000
The rumors about the disastrous situation of workers in Russia are greatly exaggerated. This conclusion can be drawn after visiting the country house of the leader of FNPR Mikhail Shmakov in the suburban village Chigasovo near Moscow. However, this village is not ordinary, because it is situated in the most prestigious suburban area just thirty kilometers from the capital along Rublevsky highway.
The villager Shmakov has fenced himself off from Chigasovo’s residents by a three-meter fence. Actually the fence has been built not by Shmakov but by Most Bank. In Chigasovo, the bank has built a cottage village with hundreds of luxurious villas, a restaurant, mini-golf and dog training playgrounds.
Source: Novaya Gazeta, March 17, 1997
Shmakov loves to declare his contribution in the victory over poverty. Perhaps, he means the luxury house in a prestigious area of the Moscow region. But he has already proved in court that it is not his property but his relatives [written on his son]. And he has already left his post in the board of directors of Rosno insurance company, which earns very good money on insurance of Moscow residents. And he has already left the contracts on carrying out New Year celebration parties implemented by Art Mix Company, where his son Victor is the director, which has drawn multi-billion dollar budgets. And he means that the property on the balance of FNPR brings even some losses - the buildings are destroyed and require constant maintenance. So, they slowly sell them. And he means that only bupkes can be earned on the remaining property.
The mechanism of distribution of the bupkes is known only to the elite. Ordinary members of the FNPR must pay fees (1% of salary), receive vouchers to children's camps and tickets for Christmas parties; the rest is not their job.
Source: Sobesednik, November 15, 2006
The trade union boss of FNPR Mikhail Shmakov is one of the most powerful and influential people of modern Russia. But his name can’t be found in the list of Russia's richest men, because the trade union leader behaves as carefully as the underground millionaire Koreiko from unforgettable Ilf and Petrov’s The Little Golden Calf. But unlike Koreiko, the trade union boss lives in a luxurious suburban mansion behind the high blind fence.
At once several high-profile scandals involving heads of regional offices of FNPR have shocked the immense space of Russia in recent years. The details are shocking.
The Prosecutor's office of the Stavropol region has opened a criminal case on the fact of deliberate bankruptcy of Statur CJSC; its main shareholder was the regional organization of the FNPR in the Stavropol Krai. Eight criminal cases have been filed.
The scammers concluded fictitious transactions with phantom-companies. Earlier the Stavropol Regional Prosecutor's office investigated how a part of the famous resorts of Caucasian Mineral Waters could suddenly “vanished” from the register of the state property. The Minister of Property Relations of Stavropol Krai Vladimir Ryzhinkov appeared to be party at fault. He signed two agreements with the Shmakov’s institution. The trade union hardheads wanted to get the so-called title certificates, in other words, a legal statement that they were the only owners of the property. Ryzhinkov passed to FNPR the property rights to five buildings of two sanatoria in Yessentuki for the total amount of 84 million rubles.
There is an own one-man show in the Krasnodar Krai: several heads of branch trade unions has accused the head of the trade union of the Krasnodar Krai Olympiada Chumakova in selling the property in Anapa and Adler at a price significantly below market one.
A restless fire ran in Buryatia. A criminal case has been initiated against Chairman of the Association of Trade Unions Sergey Timin. The investigators has found out: the tourist center Baikal Priboi was shaken off for a ridiculous price at 300 thousand rubles. Verhniaya Berezovka boarding house and Ulan-Ude tourist center were impudently sold out. The canteen of the Council of Ministers went misappropriated.
The Prosecutor's office has got interested in Kostroma trade unionists too. There were 5 health centers, 26 dispensaries, 39 pioneer camps, Berendeevi Poliani tourist complex, 85 libraries, 26 cinemas, Spartak Palace of Sports, Karavaevo stadium under the authority of the trade unions in Kostroma region in 1990. Where is all the property now? In whose hands?
Source: Argumenti nedeli (Arguments of the week), March 19, 2009
In 2011, activity of the permanent leader of Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) Mikhail Shmakov suddenly increased. Contrary to his usual practice to be convenient for both the authorities and business, he suddenly declared war to “ultra reformers” and “masters of life - oligarchs”. The reason of the rough discontent of the trade union bonze was in considerations relevant to business interests of our hero, who, according to people knowing him, for years of leadership in FNPR, has earned enough to be on one of the places of honor in the famous Forbes list.
Source: Nasha versiya (Our version), May 16, 2011
In 2013, within the Russian presidency in G20, it is planned to make a special assembly of all the ministers of labor of these countries. And how do you think, who has been appointed coordinator of the event? Of course, it is Mikhail Shmakov - the old leader of all our workers leading state-owned “independent unions” from time immemorial. This is exotic like balalaika and samovar and it certainly will be remembered to all guests.
Source: Rosbalt, January 1, 2013