UK trade unions will demonstrate in London on Saturday, calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.
“We send solidarity to the trade unionists of Ukraine who have been engaged in humanitarian assistance and resistance to the invasion”, the organisers say. “We will support in whatever way we can the brave people demonstrating in Russia for an end to the war.
“We call on the UK government to welcome refugees seeking to come to the UK without imposing any restrictions.”
The demonstration, which assembles at Parliament Square in London at 12.0 noon, is backed by the GMB general union, one of the UK’s largest, as well as unions representing civil servants (PCS), rail workers (ASLEF), communication workers (CWU), bakers and food workers (BFAWU) and mine workers (NUM).
The three main Ukrainian union federations, and two rail workers’ unions, have also declared support for the event.
The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine has appealed to trades unionists internationally to call on governments to send military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
“The bombing of hospitals and homes, executions, atrocities and rapes are part of Russian inhumane tactics”, Mykhailo Volynets, the confederation’s chair, wrote. “Russian forces continue to purposefully destroy the people of Ukraine and do not stop even at the time of the negotiation talks.
“The Russian troops are cynically ignoring all the rules of war and international humanitarian law, as well as the principles of humanity.
“Ukraine needs assistance, primarily military, financial, and humanitarian aid. We ask you to call on your governments to provide this assistance to Ukraine and to impose tougher sanctions on the Russian Federation.”
There is a copy of the letter here.
More to read on solidarity action
□ European trade unions could send convoys to Ukraine. Here’s how – Bob Myers on Open Democracy
□ War in Ukraine: reflections and proposals for internationalist union action – Solidaires Union, France