Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

After over 6 months of war Ukrainian workers need to hear our voices of support

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Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) distributed this leaflet at an Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Global Solidarity Summer School.

After over 6 months of war Ukrainian workers need to hear our voices of support

Irish Left with Ukraine are a recently-formed group of trade unionists, socialists and anarchists who have come together to help to amplify voices of support from the Irish Left for Ukrainian workers and trade unionists in their desperate attempts to repel the Russian invasion of their country. We believethere is absolutely no excuse for the savagery, destruction and death that hasbeen unleashed on the people of Ukraine. Claims that Putin is trying to remove fascism or ‘denazify’ Ukraine are palpably false. He is in fact one of the biggest supporters of the far right and it is clear that this is an attempt by Russian imperialism to expand the territory under Russian control.

In March, to mark one month after the start of the invasion, ICTU organised a very successful Rally outside the Russian embassy with 6 key messages

• Solidarity with Ukraine

• Russia out of Ukraine

• Stop the war and bring an end to the horrific violence

• Trade unions for peace

• Solidarity with Russian workers impacted by the illegal action of Putin

• Refugees welcome

Speaking at that Rally, ICTU President Kevin Callinan said

For us, an injury to one is always an injury to all. The peoples of Ireland and all Europe have been inspired by the principled and courageous resistance of the Ukrainian people, and by your determination to get Russia out of your country. We support peace. But it must be a just peace, built on respect for democracy, self-determination, and humanity. That’s why Congress is clear that Russian troops are unwelcome in Ukraine, and they must clear out.

Unfortunately in the months since, Trade Union and Left voices have not been heard as loudly and emphatically in support of the Ukrainian resistance. That is why we have come together – to encourage unequivocal support for Ukraine, and especially for Ukrainian workers, trade unionists and socialists through building links and helping to amplify their voices. We are aware that workers’ rights in Ukraine have come under attack and that the Zelenskyy government’s new labour laws represent a draconian attack on the rights of workers to organise. ICTU has rightly opposed those new laws and pledged support for the Ukrainian trade union movement. Together we all need to continue to make our voices heard on this issue

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