The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) strongly condemns the attempts to illegally confiscate trade union property

We have learned that the Committee on Economic Development of the Verkhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine, taking advantage of the introduction of martial law in Ukraine, which prohibits all public action, has resurrected draft laws "On the Legal Regime of the Property of Public Organisations of the Former Soviet Union" No. 6420 of 10 December 2021 and "On the Alienation of the Property of Public Associations (Organisations) of the Entire Former Soviet Union" No. 6421 of 10.12.2021.The members of the Committee have sent these texts to the Parliament for consideration.

The head of this committee, Dmytro Natalukha, informed the media about this, and publicly expressed his opinion about the uncertainty of the legal status of the property of trade unions, which he believes should belong to the state, and which the trade unions are using illegally. [...]

We believe that Bills 6420, 6421 were adopted in response to the principled position of trade unions opposing the adoption of a number of labour relations bills restricting employees’ rights.The public is outraged that in times of war, when the main task of the Parliament is to ensure the implementation and protection of national interests, especially in the areas of security and defence, economy, social protection of Ukrainian citizens, the people’s deputies are gradually turning to the normalisation of property rights, which is neither relevant nor motivated.

It is particularly cynical that the proposed changes to the form of ownership are proposed to be passed in a package of laws and in turbo mode, which is unacceptable and in no way compatible with Ukraine’s recently acquired status as an EU candidate country, where the right to property is inviolable and confiscation is impossible.

This senseless move by the elected representatives of the people is causing incomprehension both among trade union members and among the thousands of Ukrainian citizens who are currently in trade union sanatoriums, where they have taken refuge.

It is important to note that the FPU has been involved in building the country’s defence capabilities since the early days of the Russian aggression. Trade union organisations at all levels have already transferred tens of millions of hryvnias to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Territorial Defence Forces, trade unionists with weapons in their hands who are defending their homeland, or others who are actively engaged in voluntary activities.

In accordance with the FPU decision, a headquarters for humanitarian aid to trade unionists, trade union organisations and displaced persons has been established. Since the beginning of the war, with the support of the international and European trade union confederations, 16 trade union sanatoriums, 8 tourist establishments, a dozen industrial and territorial trade union premises have been involved, which during this period have provided temporary or permanent shelter for about 300,000 forced migrants. Currently, more than 6,000 people are living in union premises. Among them, the vast majority are women with children, members of military families, as well as elderly and disabled people.

Millions of trade unionists gathered in the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, as well as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, receive specific assistance in trade union facilities on a daily basis, and hope for the support of the International Labour Organisation and international trade unions against these measures, which contradict the norms of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Civil Code of Ukraine, and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.We call on the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, representatives of all parliamentary fractions and groups to withdraw the bills No. 6420, 6421 from consideration as irrelevant and in need of substantial revision.