Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

British PSC Trade Union Conference Votes for Solidarity With Ukraine’s Resistance – Supports “calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from all over Ukraine”

leave a comment »

The PSC Trade Union – the Public and Commercial Services Union – is the sixth largest trade union in Britain. Most of its members work in government departments and other public bodies. More here :

The General Secretary Mark Serwotka identifies strongly with the left wing of the workers’ movement in Britain :

Letter from State Employees Union Ukraine

This is the text of a letter sent to PCS by Yurii Pizhuk, chair of the State Employees Union of Ukraine

Dear Mr. President of the PCS Congress, 

Dear trade unionists of the United Kingdom, our friends and colleagues.

Today, the countdown to the Ukrainian trade union society, as in all of Ukraine, begins on 24 February 24, when our lives changed.

The treacherous Russian invasion took away our spring, our plans, our peaceful work. The war has taken away and is taking away the most valuable thing that our country has – the lives of our citizens.

The level of evil brought to our land, a normal person is simply impossible to imagine! But the terrible Kremlin horde cannot take away our love for our homeland, our faith, our hope, our dreams and our future.

And we have been able to endure these difficult months, also because we have truly felt an integral part of a true European working family, where there is no pain for others, where we all care about one thing and are on one side of the front.

During this time, Ukraine and the United Kingdom have gone from partners to friends and brothers. We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you for your invaluable help, support and decisive actions.

We understood the real meaning of true trade union solidarity. Your actions in solidarity condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from all over Ukraine have convincingly proved the truth of basic European values.

It is very important to us that you, as members of the trade union movement, call for a just peace, and in protest against the Russian invasion and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, together with the Ukrainian unions, expressed support for the Trade Union on Ukraine’s demonstration.

True, freedom, friendship, loyalty and peace always win. And we will not give up. Of course, with your help, with the help of the civilization of great countries. With the support of the great people of the United Kingdom, for which we are immensely grateful and in which we look forward.

We call on all to join in the defense of our state now and in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. We also want to create a efficient cooperation with the PCS Union in order to integrate into the international trade union movement, mutually beneficial implementation of joint projects for the development of the youth trade union movement, introduction of modern, effective forms of trade union activities and exchange of delegations.

We will be able to return to the peace life and we will be able to become reliable defenders of labor rights and social interests of the workers.

We have our native land, we have a hard-working Ukrainian people, we have active youth and we have reliable trade union friends.

We will live together in a peaceful European family.

Eternal memory to all who gave their lives for our freedom.

Eternal memory to all who gave their lives for world freedom.

Yurii Pizhuk,
Chairmen of the State
Employees Union of Ukraine

Conference sends solidarity to the people of Ukraine

PCS conference sent an unequivocal message in solidarity with the besieged people of Ukraine following a wide-ranging debate.

Three motions – A225, A10 and A227 – were debated on Tuesday afternoon (24), and A225 and A10 which called for unequivocal support for the Ukrainian people were carried overwhelmingly. However, A227, which described the conflict as a “proxy conflict” between NATO and Russia, was lost. 

Moving the first motion, which called for campaigning for measures to hasten Russia’s withdrawal, unrestricted access to the UK for Ukranian refugees and for Ukraine’s debts to be written off, was moved by John Moloney of the NEC.

He said: “We support Ukraine’s right to determine their war aims, their peace demands and they alone should make that decision, not Western powers, not the USA, and not the UK.”

Fiona, from SG West and Central Scotland branch moved the second motion, which echoed the solidarity with Ukraine and supported sanctions against Russia and action to counter misinformation within the union. 

Peter, from Birmingham South DWP branch moved the third motion, which called for opposition to NATO involvement in the war. 

He said: “We have to say our government and the NATO forces have their own campaign here and we cannot simply ignore that and take one side in this battle.” 

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka joined the debate. He said: “There’s a time to discuss NATO’s role and the UK’s membership of it but the people of Ukraine are being occupied, murdered and besieged and we as a trade union should be sending a clearly unequivocal message in solidarity with them.”

The first two motions also called for more to be done to help people fleeing Ukraine and to give them unrestricted access to the UK. 

Mohammed Shafiq from the NEC highlighted the “double standards” in how white Ukrainian refugees were treated, and black students also fleeing the war zone. 

The first two motions were overwhelmingly carried. The third one was lost.

PCS affiliates to Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign

Conference today unanimously voted to affiliate with the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign and support trade unionists in the war-torn country. 

Conference yesterday voted in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and to support their struggle against the Russian invasion. 

In affiliating with USC, the union will also support the trade union movement in Ukraine. 

Moving motion A37, Kulvinder from the Office of the Public Guardian said: “During this brutal invasion of Ukraine, it’s important that we reach out and build links with Ukraine trade unions. 

“Trade unions that were still working while Kiev was being bombed and kept the city running. 

“It’s important that we share their views of the right to self-determination.

“No Ukranian worker should have their rights and working standards exposed to what the west, or the IMF or Putin wants for them.”

Chris Hickey, from PSg – DLUHC Headquarters National Branch, said: “The USC is absolutely clear as conference was yesterday that Russia’s war mission is the denial of self determination of the people of Ukraine. 

“USC is equally clear that the labour movement’s duty is ensure a distinct solidarity and make links with trade unions, demand abolition of Ukrainian debt to demand assistance with the reconstruction of Ukraine,  to demand opening of our borders for Ukrainian refugees and for the right of Ukraine to receive weapons if it needs – and it does – to resist the Russian invasion.”

The motion called for PCS to affiliate to USC on a national basis at a cost of £150 a year, and to encourage branches to make affiliations/donations as well.

It was unanimously carried.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: