Solidarity with Ukraine

The ITUC and ETUC, with their Belgian affiliates, have rallied at the headquarters of the European Union in solidarity with Ukraine, in protest at the invasion and destruction by Vladimir Putin’s military and in support of welcoming all refugees.

“Today, we and trade unions in many other parts of the world showed our solidarity with the people of Ukraine and our clear message that all refugees are welcome, wherever they come from,” ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow told the crowd.

“We reiterate our total condemnation of Putin’s war and his killing machine targeting civilians and bringing destruction to large parts of the country.

“We thank all those trade union members and others who are showing their solidarity in public and by donating to humanitarian appeals to support people in Ukraine and those who have had to flee their homeland.

“Trade unions in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries are doing incredible humanitarian work and we salute all those involved. We also stand with those inside Russia who have shown the courage to oppose the war, at great risk to themselves,” added Sharan Burrow.

ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini also addressed the demonstration: “Trade unions all over the world stand for peace and democracy. We want this horrible war to be stopped immediately.

“It is not enough to see a few leaders picking up the phone to call Putin. That’s important but we want stronger, more ambitious diplomatic action to demand a ceasefire and start real negotiations for peace.

“The European Union has not done enough. They have to stand up and make their voice heard. They cannot just discuss a European defence strategy. We want to see a European peace strategy. We want to see leaders take a lead, sit down with Putin and stop the war.”

The leaders of the three Belgian affiliates of the ITUC and ETUC addressed the rally, along with representatives from the European Transport Workers’ Federation, the European Economic and Social Committee and a speaker from civil society group “Promote Ukraine”. Audio messages from the ITUC’s Ukraine affiliates FPU and KVPU were also delivered at the rally.

Click here to contribute to the ITUC public fundraising appeal for humanitarian support for Ukrainians.