Urgent Appeal from Ukrainian trade unions for solidarity

Ukrainian trade union organizations call on their trade union brothers and sisters to stop unloading Russian fossil fuels. They appealed to the ETUC, ETWF and trade unions in European countries. 

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On behalf of the members of our trade union organisations, we want to express gratitude to you for your solidarity and support of the people of Ukraine. We appreciate that the ETUC is ready to support trade unions in their actions, including strikes, blockades and other forms of industrial action, to put pressure on those European companies that have chosen to remain in Russia or to continue having economic and trade activities with Russia, as stated in the ETUC Resolution on Ukraine.

As you know, in the early morning of 24 February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the 8th year of the war. For the past three weeks, the Russian army has been deliberately bombing residential areas and critical infrastructure throughout Ukraine. 

To date,  only in besieged Mariupol, at least 2,537 civilians were killed, including more than 100 children. Thousands more are wounded and more than 3 million people, the majority of whom are women with children, have already fled Ukraine. These numbers only keep rising with each passing hour as Russia keeps committing atrocious war crimes against the peaceful population.

In addition to this Russia is also performing acts of nuclear terrorism, first in world’s history, as Russian military and state nuclear company Rosatom have seized Chornobyl (the site of the horrific 1986 tragedy) and Zaporizhzhia (the biggest in Europe) nuclear power plants.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian workers bravely work with threats to their lives under Russian bombs and missiles. But millions of workers lost their jobs, income and even homes. This brutal war is also aimed to destroy the economy of Ukraine and even to start food crises in Ukraine and Europe.

Russia must be stopped.

Make no mistake: this horrific war is the result of governments and fossil fuel giants having blindly tolerated Russian acts of violence and oppression for many years to maintain the status quo of the fossil fuel economy.

Russia’s war on Ukraine is being financed by the gas, oil, coal and nuclear industries which Vladimir Putin has successfully weaponized. European countries rely heavily on Russian fossil fuels and keep pumping financial resources into the Russian war machine.

More than 14 billion Euro of blood money for fossil fuels has been paid by the EU member states to Russia since 24 February 2022. This needs to stop.

We, Ukrainian trade unions, call upon you for solidarity and help in stopping unloading Russian fossil fuels in European ports. We are grateful to all our trade union brothers and sisters for refusing to upload Russian fossil fuels.

We believe that European trade unions can play a decisive role in cutting this war’s bloodline at its root and help Ukraine in concrete terms.

Unity is our strength! 

In solidarity,

The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine

The Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine  (NPGU)

The FreeTrade Union of Railways Workers of Ukraine (VPZU)

The primary trade union organization of the All-Ukrainian trade union “Protection of Justice” of workers of the Izmail trading port

The Nuclear Power and Industry Workers of Ukraine (Atomprofspilka)

The Union of Workers of Metallurgical and Mining Industries of Ukraine (PMGU)

21 March 2022