The Public and Commercial Services Union Conference voted on 25 MAy unanimously to affiliate with the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign and support trade unionists in the war-torn country.
Conference voted in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and to support their struggle against the Russian invasion.
In affiliating with USC, the union will also support the trade union movement in Ukraine.
Moving motion A37, Kulvinder from the Office of the Public Guardian said: “During this brutal invasion of Ukraine, it’s important that we reach out and build links with Ukraine trade unions.
“Trade unions that were still working while Kiev was being bombed and kept the city running.
“It’s important that we share their views of the right to self-determination.
“No Ukranian worker should have their rights and working standards exposed to what the west, or the IMF or Putin wants for them.”
Chris Hickey, from PSg – DLUHC Headquarters National Branch, said: “The USC is absolutely clear as conference was yesterday that Russia’s war mission is the denial of self determination of the people of Ukraine.
“USC is equally clear that the labour movement’s duty is ensure a distinct solidarity and make links with trade unions, demand abolition of Ukrainian debt to demand assistance with the reconstruction of Ukraine, to demand opening of our borders for Ukrainian refugees and for the right of Ukraine to receive weapons if it needs – and it does – to resist the Russian invasion.”
The motion called for PCS to affiliate to USC on a national basis at a cost of £150 a year, and to encourage branches to make affiliations/donations as well.
A sucessfull fringe meeting was held by the USC with Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary speaking, Yuliya Yurchenko of Sotsialny Rukh, John McDonnell MP and Christopher Ford of USC.
PCS General Secretary said that he was not speaking in a personal capacity. “I am speaking on behalf of PCS. And right from the start we have made our solidarity very clear.” PCS Parliamentary Group Chair John McDonnell MP explained why he helped found USC in 2014 and said: “Russia’s war of aggression is a war crime. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, with heroic Russians opposing the war, and with Ukraine’s labour movement. Yuliya Yurchenko of Ukraine’s democratic socialist movement Sotsialniy Rukh, spoke about the left’s fight to reconstruct Ukraine on a different, more equal basis after the war – and for immediate demands including cancellation of Ukraine’s debt.
A message of solidrity was read to the fringe meeting from Olesia Briazgunova International Secretary of the Confederation of Free Trade unions was delivered:
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
On behalf of the members of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) , I want to express gratitude to the Public and Commercial Services Union and its members for your support and solidarity. While you are holding this conference, the KVPU members are working under missiles or hiding in basements due to the tair strikes made by Russian forces. Our brave medical workers are saving the lives of civilians and servicemen. Our transport workers ensures the transportation of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of people from the war zones. Currently, members of the KVPU are on the front line as they are serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. These men and women have left their jobs, homes and peaceful lives and now they are defending their homeland from the Russian occupiers. At the same time the KVPU and its affiliated organizations have been providing aid to civilians, IDPs and servicemen/women. Our leaders and members go to the war affected cities and towns to deliver aid and evacuate people. We’re use all our trade union resources to help people and to bring peace to Ukraine. However, we do need your help in this fight for our independence, freedom and life. We do need your help to bting back peace in Ukraine and Europe. Ukraine needs assistance, financian, humanitarian and military aid to fight the dark Russian regime, to help people and to rebuild destroyed cities and economy. We call to support strong sanctions against Russia to stop this horrible war. We call all democratic societies to unite and act to ensure that never again there will be atrocities, destruction, genocide and horrific war. We do believe in power of solidarity! We do believe in victory of Ukraine!
Thank you for your support and solidarity again!
At the conference a message of solidarity was read from by Yurii Pizhuk, chair of the State Employees Union of Ukraine, the PCS’s sister union in Ukraine:
Dear Mr. President of the PCS Congress,
Dear trade unionists of the United Kingdom, our friends and colleagues.
Today, the countdown to the Ukrainian trade union society, as in all of Ukraine, begins on 24 February 24, when our lives changed.
The treacherous Russian invasion took away our spring, our plans, our peaceful work. The war has taken away and is taking away the most valuable thing that our country has – the lives of our citizens.
The level of evil brought to our land, a normal person is simply impossible to imagine! But the terrible Kremlin horde cannot take away our love for our homeland, our faith, our hope, our dreams and our future.
And we have been able to endure these difficult months, also because we have truly felt an integral part of a true European working family, where there is no pain for others, where we all care about one thing and are on one side of the front.
During this time, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have gone from partners to friends and brothers. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you for your invaluable help, support and decisive actions.
We understood the real meaning of true trade union solidarity. Your actions in solidarity condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from all over Ukraine have convincingly proved the truth of basic European values.
It is very important to us that you, as members of the trade union movement, call for a just peace, and in protest against the Russian invasion and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, together with the Ukrainian unions, expressed support for the Trade Union on Ukraine’s demonstration.
True, freedom, friendship, loyalty and peace always win. And we will not give up. Of course, with your help, with the help of the civilization of great countries. With the support of the great people of the United Kingdom, for which we are immensely grateful and in which we look forward.
We call on all to join in the defense of our state now and in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. We also want to create a efficient cooperation with the PCS Union in order to integrate into the international trade union movement, mutually beneficial implementation of joint projects for the development of the youth trade union movement, introduction of modern, effective forms of trade union activities and exchange of delegations.
We will be able to return to the peace life and we will be able to become reliable defenders of labor rights and social interests of the workers.
We have our native land, we have a hard-working Ukrainian people, we have active youth and we have reliable trade union friends.
We will live together in a peaceful European family.
Eternal memory to all who gave their lives for our freedom.
Eternal memory to all who gave their lives for world freedom.
Chairmen of the State
Employees Union of Ukraine