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Letter From Ukraine to President Saunders

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To the AFSCME President
Mr. Lee Saunders

Dear trade union brother,

The State Employees Union of Ukraine expresses its deepest respect to you personally and to all members of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees for their solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their just struggle against Russia’s armed aggression for the independence of sovereign Ukraine and its territorial integrity.

The treacherous attack by the Russian Federation on Ukraine has led to major destruction in our country, thousands of civilian and military casualties, millions of refugees moving across Ukraine and crossing the borders of neighboring countries in threatening and dangerous conditions.

We consider as vital US support from the President Joseph Biden Jr. and whole US society on the diplomatic arena, military supplies, wide financial and humanitarian aid, imposing unprecedented sanctions against Russia, its imperial chieftain and country`s political elites.

At a time when the entire civilized world condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and demands the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FITUR) issued a statement supporting “steps taken by the Russian president, political and military leadership.”

Thus, the FITUR on February 24 published a communiqué of its press service “On the peacekeeping mission”, in which “supported the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to conduct an operation to denazify Ukraine.”

On February 25, the FITUR issued an official statement confirming that it “supports the steps taken by President V.V. Putin, Russia’s political and military leadership. ” FITUR went so far as to declare that Ukraine represents a “direct and obvious threat to the state” and that Russian citizens need protection, including those living in Donbas. This position of the FITUR contradicts the fundamental principles on which the activities of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Pan-European Regional Council of the ITUC (PERC) are based.

45 All-Ukrainian Trade Unions, half of which are members of global union federations, and 25 regional unions, the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, based on the incompatibility of the position of the FITUR with the basic principles of the ITUC and PERC, demand to exclude FITUR from the ITUC and PERC. Thus, the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine appealed to the International Confederation of Trade Unions to exclude the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia from the ITUC, which should lead to automatic expulsion from the PERC.

In this regard, we appeal to you, Mr. President, to urgently support the initiative of the Ukrainian trade union community to suspend the membership of the FNPR as one that can no longer be as democratic union in all international trade union institutions, including the ITUC and PERC.

We sincerely believe that our joint efforts will lead to the desired result, which will be aimed at deepening the solidarity of the world progressive trade union movement in protecting the interests of human security, the rule of fundamental human rights.

In Solidarity,
President of the State Employees Union of Ukraine
Yurii Pizhuk


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