Ukraine: “Wave of Anger” sweeps Ukraine as trade unions continue their struggle against dangerous proposal for new labour law


For more than a month Ukrainian trade union have been struggling against the changes proposed by the Government to the legislation on labour, trade unions, social insurance and social dialogue. The draft laws were developed by the Government without any social dialogue.

On 15 January 2020, the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine and all its member organisations picketed the Parliament of Ukraine’s Committee on Social Policy, where the draft labour law was being debated.

On 16 January, the All-Ukrainian Trade Union Forum demanded that the government withdraw the draft labour law. They called for the government to start developing fair reforms through social dialogue with trade unions, employers’ organisations in compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine and international obligations.

On 29 January, the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine filed a lawsuit against the Cabinet of Ministers because of their behaviour during the development of the draft labour law.

On 30 January, the “Wave of Anger” swept across all the country with protests, forums, meetings and flash mobs against the proposed labour laws. Trade union members from all sectors, alongside representatives of NGOs and other activists, took part in the events.

The protesters warned that the government’s reform proposals could have unpredictable consequences for the country, worsening the socioeconomic situation and leading to confrontation between workers and employers. There is even a risk of spontaneous work stoppages.

Trade union organisations around the world have offered their support to colleagues in Ukraine. Mr Trukhanov, President of ETUCE member organisation TUESW, said that “The Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine expresses its sincere gratitude to the European Trade Union Committee for Education and to all the organisations for their support in this hard period for all Ukrainian workers.”

ETUCE continues to stand with member organisations, teachers and other education personnel in Ukraine during this struggle against these damaging reform proposals.