After a wearisome period of dormancy, people are gradually beginning to remember what it is to stand for their rights!
Welcome to join the fundraising of our team for to work on this international column and offline volunteer activities. A couple of cups of coffee in your country, even before the war, could be equivalent to a day's earnings of a worker in Ukraine. Many thanks everyone in advance!
A long-drawn unsuccessful counteroffensive and a rapidly rising cost of living are prompting renewed labor protests across the country. First of all, in those areas where they regularly happened before the big war started in 2022.
For instance, as you can see in the title photo, about 300 residents gathered on July 4 under the Ovruch town hall in the Zhytomyr region, opposing changes to the governmental resolution on the revision of settlements classified as one or another category of radioactive contamination zones. The Cabinet of Ministers wants to cancel the third zone of radioactive impact, and then social guarantees for the Chernobyl disaster victims (in particular, preferential pensions, free meals for children in schools and other payments). Tatyana, who participated in the action, said that now she receives a pension of 15 thousand hryvnias, and if the Chernobyl benefits in the zone of her residence are canceled, the pension will become only 2.5 thousand: "How to live on 2,500 hryvnias? I have a lot of diseases. I only spend 7-8 thousand hryvnias on buying medicines every month. How can I live on 2,500 hryvnias?"
The protesters initiated an appeal of local deputies to the parliament, courts and international organizations. By that time, a working group had already been created, which had collected more than 12,000 signatures to repeal the resolution.
In the next photo, the strike of second-shift miners of the Novokostyantynivska mine in the Kirovograd region, which extracts ore for the Eastern Mining and Processing Plant. This state-owned enterprise (the only Ukrainian uranium producer and the largest uranium mining center in Europe) went idle from the beginning of a full-scale war until October 2022, now the workers are owed 350 million hryvnias. As of July 17, mine workers have refused to go underground for the fifth day. It employs almost 650 people, 200 of whom are mobilized to the army.
The yellow trade union, predictably, turned out to be on the side of the administration. "Failure to fulfill the production program entails underfunding. The fact that we do not fulfill our products entails an increase in debt," stated the head of the mine, Yaroslav Kholodenko. And the chairman of its trade union, Olexandr Zovva, says that they did not receive a message about the protest from the miners: "If there was such an appeal, perhaps we would try to meet, would offer some conditions, they would offer conditions for a way out of this situation. We pin our hopes that there will be a meeting with representatives of the management of the plant and, perhaps, we will find some kind of compromise."
On July 15, the medical staff of the 1st, 7th, 10th and 11th public hospitals came to the city council of Krivoy Rog (Kryvyi Rih). Two months earlier, they were given only an advance payment for May, and the payments ended there. The accounts were blocked due to the merger of hospitals. “We have families, we have children. We have nothing to live for and wait for the National Health Service to finance us. The city authorities don’t want to do anything about it, and we simply have nothing to eat at home,” complained one of the women. With the chant "Salary! Salary" they marched through the streets:
Since employees blame the mayor's office for the lack of money, on July 22 a new rally was held under its building. A nurse from the neurological department of the 11th hospital said that in addition to the constant delay in wages, the staff was significantly reduced. Unable to withstand the load, the woman, like her predecessors, wrote a letter of resignation. "There are three nurses left in our department with 30 beds. With whom to work? And there were 9 nurses with me." The head of the city health department Kostyantyn Murashko claims that the money was received and the staff was paid for May, but the people demand to pay them in full:
Unfortunately, much more often Ukrainian workers keep silence, because they do not believe in the success of the struggle. A vivid example is a testimony from the main Kharkiv construction company Zhytlobud-1, where the Dickensian realities for builders coexist with the luxurious life of owners close to the mayor. We received it a week ago from a man named Volodymyr:
“I'm a technical specialist with a lot of experience. There are up to twenty of this level in the city, although the demand is more than a hundred or two, and even with such a shortage, they spread rot on us as much as they can. On all our strikes they laid down and lay down. We work officially with taxes, etc. The vacation became unpaid, the salary was halved. Whether the office pays social contributions is a good question. Halving salaries is already a blow to pension contributions, but are there any at all? They say supposedly yes, but they can say a lot. The future has become, to put it mildly, vague. And some of us just started drinking. If someone has mastered this profession, it becomes their life. You can talk for a long time about changing the profession, side jobs, this, that... I don’t know a single specialist who would change it, everyone is waiting for improvement. They endure and wait. Will they wait?! Competitors don't have work at all. At such a rate, we’ll die out like mammoths, and it’ll take 2-3 years to train a new specialist, subject to his desire and abilities. I don't think that we are not living a normal life, but I don't see the future. Something like this... They could stroke my head for a long tongue. Although I’m not the most riotous rebel there, they’ve been promising to fire me for three months already... ”
That is why, instead of active resistance, Ukrainians prefer to flee outside the state. Despite the state more and more tightens the nuts of control for those who try to escape from it...
In addition, we are now supporting activity against cutting down almost 20 hectares of pine forest near Kharkov for the expansion of a sand pit.
And take a look at the stories from the frontline life in historical heartland of Makhnovschina surviving under daily bombing for the second year.