Ukrainian railway workers support British railway workers
The British machinists' union ASLEF has close links with the Free Trade Union of Railway Workers in Ukraine
In Great Britain, employees of 16 railway companies went on strike on Friday 12 May, in response to a call by two unions - the RMT railway workers and the ASLEF drivers. It will also continue on 13 May and 3 June.
The government's transport minister, Mark Harper, accused the two unions of committing a hostile act against Ukraine, because the strike would interfere with spectators at the Eurovision Song Contest, the final of which will be held in Liverpool on 13 May.
The general secretary of the RMT rail union, Mick Lynch, refuted the government official's accusations towards Ukraine: "I was in Ukraine when the Russian tanks invaded, and ASLEF deputy general secretary Simon Weller was also there to talk to the railway workers when the Russian bombs fell on Ukraine. And we are involved in the solidarity campaign with Ukraine."
The British machinists' union ASLEF has close links with the Free Trade Union of Railway Workers in Ukraine and has sent humanitarian aid.
For its part, the Free Trade Union of Railway Workers of Ukraine (FRU) said it "supports the demands of ASLEF and is ready for solidarity actions in support of your courageous struggle for the labour rights of union members. We also express our sincere gratitude for your participation in the organisation of humanitarian aid activities for members of the Ukrainian armed forces. This is an invaluable contribution to the development of international trade union solidarity and, undoubtedly, a tangible support to [Ukrainian] railway trade unionists in wartime."
"The Free Trade Union of Railway Workers of Ukraine wishes its [British] colleagues success in the struggle for the just demands of railway workers and expresses its confidence that their example will be an impetus for further bold protest actions by trade unions to protect the violated rights of workers."
Photo : A member of Union of ukrainian railway workers at a british union protest