Ukraine Solidarity Campaign extends May Day greetings to the labour movement and all working people in Ukraine. 

May Day 2022 is taking place in circumstances of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – we extend solidarity to all the working people of engaged in resisting Russian imperialism and maintaining the essential services in the face of this war .

May Day began in 1886 in the USA when hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets to demand an eight-hour working day.  Two years later the American Federation of Labor declared 1st May the international day of workers struggling for their rights

May Day has a long tradition in Ukraine,  with regular demonstrations by the social democratic and labour movement.  Both in Austrian ruled-Ukraine and the areas of Ukraine under the Russian Empire. 

During the Ukrainian Revolution in 1917 there was mass demonstrations on May Day across Ukraine and by Ukrainians in the Russian Empire, calling for social and national liberation.

With the rise of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, May Day demonstrations became increasingly a bureaucratic ritual far removed from its original ideals. 

Trade unionists and democratic socialists in Ukraine continue to celebrate the International Day of Labour adhering to its original ideals.

May Day in Lviv in the early 1900’s.
The 1 May 1917 issue of the paper of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers Party who played a leading role in the Ukrainian Revolution.
May Day 1917 demonstration by Ukrainain soldiers – with pictures of Taras Shevchenko, red and Ukrainain flags together
In the city of Irkutsk , local Ukrainians and local workers organized a May Day demonstration in 1917.  Alongside revolutionary slogans of the time, the banners read  “Long live free Ukraine!” and “Long live the autonomy of Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!”.
May Day in Lviv 2015

Independent Trade Unions celebrate May Day in Dnipro in 2015
Workers and trade unionists demand decent work and decent pay on 1 May in Kryvyi Rih 2018
2022 – A flashmob dedicated to the day of international solidarity of workers was held in the sanatorium “Sinyak” in Transcarpathia.
working for victory and the future. Poster of Confederation of Free Trade Unions 2022

Happy International Labor Day!

Dear brothers and sisters, our glorious family of the international confederation of unions!

Congratulations to all on the International Labor Day, Day of Worker Solidarity Day, Day of Fight for your rights and better standards of life! For improving laws, good and quality laws and rules that we are trying to achieve!

I want to say that today our state and our Ukrainian society collided with the next challenges: this is aggression on the part of Russia.

We are trying to stop the war that was launched by Russia. Crossing the borders of our state, Russia is trying to destroy not only the state of Ukraine, but also to take away from us the right to build a democratic society. It is trying to take away our right to integrate into the European space, where there are better standards of life and democratic principles. No one can take this right away from us!

The war led to millions of people being forced to relocate to other cities. fleeing war and trying to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

And we, as unions, try to help people avoid other problems: losing jobs, losing all opportunities for a normal and healthy existence.

We are already working on how to rebuild the economy after the war is over, and we expect that together efforts, together with fraternal unions from around the world, will be able to deploy projects to rebuild Ukraine’s economy and save jobs.

We believe that with the help of unions from other countries we will be able to create such conditions in Ukraine not only for work and for normal living, that millions of Ukrainians who have gone abroad as refugees will be able to return to Ukraine. It is very important that we can work together and rebuild the economy of our country.

I wish everyone peace, tranquillity, happiness! Prosperity to you and your families!

Head of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine,

Michael Volynets