Defeat the Russian Invasion! Dismantle NATO!
On the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Workers’ Voice is helping organize a second round of “Workers’ Aid to Ukraine.” The campaign will kick off with an in-person event hosted by Workers Voice and Promoting Enduring Peace in New Haven, Conn., on Feb. 25.
In April 2022, we helped raise $5500 for the Independent Miners Union in Kryvyi Rih that was associated with two trade-union convoys bringing material aid to Ukraine. The International Labour Network for Solidarity and Struggles (ILNSS) reported, “The decision to send an international delegation to the country was based on many conversations with labor unions and activists from Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Belarus, and is only possible because several organizations that are part of the ILNSS have been actively involved in the defense of Ukraine against the Russian invasion since the beginning of the attacks on 24 February.”
In December, Workers’ Voice participated in an online international conference put together by the ILNSS. During the conference we heard the stories from members of the Independent Miners Union, who spoke about the difficult conditions under the Russian invasion. Over 100 trade unionists from across the globe pledged their support to build an international fundraising campaign.
The beleaguered Ukrainian working class maintains its staunch fight for victory despite Russian missile attacks that target Ukraine’s power grid and other critical infrastructure. At the same time, Ukraine’s ruling elite are using the war as a means to smash laws that protect workers’ rights.
On Jan. 12, Workers Voice published a letter from Vitaly, a trolleybus driver in Kharkiv, who explained one of the many attacks on workers: “Workers are forced to work overtime, violating the rules on rest and shift work, to earn at least a little more. Overtime hours are covered by a second time sheet. Some drivers work 14 to 16 hours a day, which is unacceptable, especially because they carry passengers.”
This winter the people of the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih suffer from the shortages of electricity, heating, and water. In an interview with the ILNSS, Yuri Samoilov, president of the Independent Miners Union of Kryvyi Rih, says, “Just as at the beginning of the war, our task is to help our members who are now serving in the army. I will say this, the supply of the army at such a basic level—clothes, clothing, warm things—needs to change for the better. The winter season has already started and it’s tough. Before the war, an employer didn’t have the right to fire an employee without the union’s approval. Now they have been given this right and are very eager to exercise it. They say there is no work and that’s it. They don’t have to give a reason for the dismissal.”
Trade unionists from Kryvyi Rih are also being killed on the front lines. Yevgen Mykolaivych Tkachenko, a worker at the LLC Foundry and Mechanical Plant in the Dnipropetrovsk region and a member of the Independent Trade Union of Miners, was killed in October during a combat mission in the Belogorivka, Lugansk, region.
A flood of international worker-to-worker solidarity can help boost morale and deepen the struggle for the liberation of Ukraine from not only the Russian invaders but also from the Ukrainian capitalist class, the U.S., NATO, the IMF, and the World bank.
Graphic: “Fanon” by Ukrainian artist Kataya Gritsvea. (Reproduced here courtesy of the artist)