Published: 13/03/2014
For months, Ukrainian citizens poured into the streets to drive a revolution built on their demands for social justice, democratic institutions and the elimination of corruption. From the beginning, Ukrainian unions were active participants in this struggle. Two major threats now threaten to rob a democratic Ukraine of their achievement.

Tensions continue to escalate in the Crimea, where the aggressive actions and statements of the Russian authorities are wrapped in bogus claims to be acting to protect Russian citizens and Russian speakers. The IUF and its Ukrainian affiliates defend the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and reject and condemn intervention by Russian or any other foreign military forces.

While the conflict is increasingly militarized, the International Monetary Fund and transnational corporations and financial institutions are fighting to impose their own agenda on Ukraine. The IUF and its Ukrainian affiliates call upon Ukraine’s political representatives to recall and to defend the social aspirations which brought them to power through the streets and the Popular Assembly. These interests are not represented in the austerity measures, cuts in social expenditure and labour market liberalization promoted by the new Cabinet. On the contrary, these policies will mean only another round of rip-offs, impoverishment and strife for the majority of citizens.

We call upon the international labour movement to support the Ukrainian trade unions in their fight for peace, democracy, independence, territorial integrity and decent working and living conditions for all who live there. We are convinced that the people and the workers of all regions of Ukraine must be free to collectively and peacefully deal with the conditions they confront without the military or economic pressure which threatens to destroy the goals of the democratic uprising.

Statement published by the IUF and its Ukrainian affiliates on the IUF Russian-language website March 12, 2014