Education International
Education International

Ukraine: EI’s European Region calls for action to restore unions

published 28 February 2014 updated 3 March 2014

Last Sunday, Kiev's Independence Square turned into a giant memorial complex, as people gathered in thousands to honour the dozens of people who were killed in clashes between demonstrators and the police forces. EI and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), has expressed its solidarity for its Ukrainian colleagues during the most serious crisis in the country since its independence in 1991.

In the course of the last decade, there have been political scandals, fraud and corruption in Ukraine, which has led the country into today’s chaos and increased the frustration felt among the public.

This dissatisfaction reached a tipping point with the refusal of former President Viktor Yanukovych to sign an association agreement with the European Union. During the fights and clashes between demonstrators and police forces, the Trade Union House in Kiev was completely destroyed by a fire.

Call for help

Today, several hundred trade union workers remain without workplaces and all documents, furniture, office equipment, etc. have been lost. EI and ETUCE’s member organisation, the Trade Union of Education and Science Employees of Ukraine, is asking for help to restore its activities in full.

“ETUCE has expressed its concern, support and compassion as well as condolences to our colleagues in Ukraine and to those who have lost members of their family in the terrible incidents in Independence Square,” said ETUCE Director Martin Rømer. “The country has been weakened and ETUCE can only hope that Ukrainian citizens will remain united and overcome the tragic events. ETUCE will continue to follow developments and encourages its member organisations to support our Ukrainian colleagues by all means including financial assistance to rebuild their union capacity.”

A coordinated call for solidarity assistance for Ukrainian colleagues will be issued to the EI and ETUCE member organisations in due course.