The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine strongly condemns the attempts to illegally confiscate the trade union property.

As it has come to be known, the Economic Development Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, taking advantage of martial law in Ukraine, which prohibits any public actions, revived the draft law “On Legal Regime of Property of All-Union Public Organisations of Former USSR” No 6420 of 10/12/2021 and “On Moratorium on Use of Property of all-Union Public Associations (Organisations) of Former USSR” No 6421 of 10/12/2021. The members of the Committee supported it and sent it to Parliament for consideration.

This was communicated to the media by Committee Chairman Dmytro Natalukha, who publicly voiced his opinion on unclear legal status of trade union property, which he believes should belong to the state, while trade unions are using it illegally.

It should be noted that these draft laws were registered in the Verkhovna Rada back in December 2021 and were not included in the Legislative Work Plan of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for 2022, approved by the Resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine No 2036-ІХ of 15/02/2022. It is also characteristic that several drafts laws with similar content were submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in particular, in 2002 and 2016) to resolve the issue of the submitted drafts, but no decision was taken on them.

We consider that the draft laws Nos 6420 and 6421 are response to the principled stand of trade unions, which oppose to adoption of a number of draft laws on labour relations, which narrow the workers’ rights, which was confirmed by international experts, among others. According to the legal opinion of the Research and Expertise Main Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the draft law No 6420 requires considerable revision.

The general public is outraged that at wartime, when the main task of the parliament is to ensure implementation and protection of national interests, particularly in the areas of security and defines, economy, and social protection of citizens of Ukraine, the people’s deputies are turning to regulation of property rights, which is an irrelevant and unmotivated step.

Especially cynical is the fact that the proposed changes in the form of ownership are proposed to be voted on in a package and in turbo mode, which is unacceptable and in no way consistent with Ukraine’s recently acquired status of the EU candidate country, where property rights are immutable and confiscation is impossible.

This senseless initiative of the people’s deputies causes confusion both among trade union members and thousands of Ukrainian citizens who are now in trade union sanatoria where they have found shelter.

It is important to note that since the first days of the Russian aggression, the FPU has been involved in strengthening the country’s defence capability. Trade union organisations of all levels have already donated dozens of millions of hryvnias to help the Armed Forces and Territorial Defence Forces of Ukraine and trade union members defend their native country with arms in their hands and actively volunteer.

The FPU decided to set up a headquarters for humanitarian aid to trade union members, trade union organisations and internally displaced persons. Since the beginning of the war, with support of the International and European Trade Union Confederation, European national trade union centres and the International Labour Organization, 16 trade union sanatoria, 8 tourist facilities and some 10 facilities of sectoral and territorial trade unions have been used to provide temporary or permanent shelter to refugees and IDPs. More than 6,000 persons currently live in trade union facilities. Among them, the vast majority are women with children, family members of military personnel, and elderly and disabled persons.

Millions of trade union members united by the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who receive daily real assistance in trade union facilities hope for support of the International Labour Organization and international trade union associations and take all measures to withdraw these draft laws, which contradict the Constitution of Ukraine, the Civil Code of Ukraine and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

We call upon the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and representatives of all parliamentary factions and groups to withdraw from consideration the draft laws Nos 6420, 6421 as irrelevant and requiring significant revision.

15 July 2022