Over the past week, trade unions in the UK have been putting out statements in support of the Ukrainian people, in response to the Russian invasion of the country. Here are a few of the public expressions of support:
The TUC said:
“The TUC condemns the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation and calls for Russia to respect Ukrainian territorial integrity. We join the global union movement in calling for peace and urge all governments to reach a negotiated solution through diplomacy, including a return to the framework of the Minsk agreements, to bring about peace, democracy, security, and human and trade union rights for all in Europe, Ukraine and Russia.”
The GMB said:
“Our union calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and withdrawal of invading Russian forces and urges all parties to engage in diplomatic efforts to reach a non-violent solution to this conflict, with a return to the Minsk agreements providing a framework. We send a powerful message of support to our trade union sisters and brothers across Ukraine. Please know that as you experience this incredibly difficult moment in your lives, you are in our thoughts, hearts, and prayers. We stand in solidarity with you.”
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said:
“The military aggression against an independent country unfolds at an alarming pace. There is overwhelming support being expressed throughout Unite to support the people of Ukraine. It is not only the struggle for democracy that concerns us but also the struggle for people’s rights to work and build their future in peace.”
“No one can fail to be moved by the scenes of terrified civilians taking shelter underground or of the hundreds of thousands of women and children desperately trying to cross the border to safety, to an uncertain future as a refugee. Unison immediately condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week and has called for Russian troops to withdraw to allow meaningful peace talks to go ahead.
The union has reached out in solidarity to public service unions in Ukraine whose members are on the frontline trying to save lives as civilian casualties rise. Workers and ordinary people in both Ukraine and Russia are the victims of this war, not the perpetrators.”
UCU’s Jo Grady said:
“The situation in Ukraine is devastating to witness and on behalf of the University and College Union I am sending best wishes and solidarity to all those affected.
As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians flee their own homes from the Russian invasion, it is vital that our government removes all barriers to Ukrainian citizens coming to the UK and ensures a comprehensive package of support is available to those that arrive here. Anything less is a dereliction of duty and should be condemned as such.”
Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU said:
“Even with this horrific crisis we can see that working people – though separated by borders, nationalities and backgrounds – are united in their condemnation of needless aggression, suffering and war. The CWU stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and importantly, with all our members here in the UK who are from Ukraine who will be understandably concerned about the safety of their family, friends and their communities.”
The RMT said:
“The RMT condemns the invasion of Ukraine and calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops. It is workers who suffer at the hands of military conflict. As trade unionists we oppose war and support peace.”
The NUJ’s Michelle Stanistreet said:
“As journalists continue to report in dangerous conditions across Ukraine, Unesco must act now to ensure their safety within the country. The NUJ stands in solidarity with sister unions and has supported calls for donations to the International Federation of Journalists’ safety fund. We also urge all employers and engagers to ensure that staff and freelance journalists reporting across Ukraine on their behalf have all the necessary safety equipment and support they need.”
The NASUWT said:
“The NASUWT stands with the people of Ukraine and Russia who strive for peace, democracy and security. The NASUWT stands in solidarity with the teachers, students, and people of Ukraine in calling for peace, democracy, security, and respect for human and trade union rights in Ukraine.
The NASUWT stands with our trade union sisters and brothers in Ukraine and with teachers in Ukraine and we extend our solidarity and support to the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU) and the Free Trade Union of Education and Science of Ukraine (VPONU) in their efforts to protect children’s right to education.”
“PCS condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and supports the call for immediate withdrawal. We stand by the trade unionists and people of Ukraine at this terrible time.”
Unions in this country and across Europe also urged trade unionists and members of the public to donate to the ITUC appeal for Ukraine. You can contribute here.