Sheffield TUC statement on the war in Ukraine
Sheffield Trade Union Council (STUC) condemns the war in Ukraine brought about by the latest invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces, and urgently calls for an immediate ceasefire and for negotiations to commence that lead to the early withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Ukraine.
STUC believes that Russia’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine is an extremely dangerous development, which has the potential to escalate to a catastrophic nuclear war between Russia and NATO.
STUC particularly condemns Russian military strikes against civilian targets such as residential areas and hospitals with apparent disregard for human life. The brutal bombardment of towns and cities must stop now.
STUC believes that the working class has nothing to gain from war; workers always pay the biggest price of war. STUC therefore supports the building of a mass anti-war movement. Workers in Ukraine and Russia – and across the world – have common interests. STUC stands for workers’ unity and internationalism, and the building of unity among workers across national boundaries.We condemn the use of conscription of working class men to fight in wars not of their making
STUC supports workers and their trade unions in Ukraine acting independently of the Zelensky regime and building their own organisations and taking independent action including attempts to build dialogue and links with rank-and-file troops of the invading Russian forces. STUC sends its solidarity to Ukrainian workers, especially the firefighters, ambulance, recovery and hospital workers, and transport workers, who are operating in the most appalling conditions.
STUC stands in solidarity with those in Russia who have protested against the invasion, despite police repression, and supports the call for financial donations to provide legal support to those protesting against the war in Russia, who face brutal persecution and arrest.
STUC supports the calls of the Sheffield-Ukraine Solidarity Campaign and others to donate to the emergency fundraising appeal made by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which will passed on to Ukrainian trade union organisations FPU and KVPU to support humanitarian work in Ukraine, and to ITUC member organisations in surrounding countries to support refugees.
STUC condemns all far right or fascist groups on either side of this conflict that seek to take advantage of the war to build their own organisation and activity by further provoking national and ethnic tensions.
STUC condemns the British Tory government which has been enthusiastically supporting USA-led NATO interference, in Ukraine, in Russia, and in Ukrainian-Russian relations. STUC condemns Prime Minister Johnson’s calls for military escalation and a build-up of arms in UK and across NATO which can only increase global tensions and further risk a much wider war. STUC therefore believes that Britain must stop interfering in Ukraine, and stay out.
STUC condemns the hypocrisy of the British Tory government and the Labour opposition, both of which seek to portray NATO as a purely defensive organisation. They seek to erase Britain’s and USA’s role (with or without NATO) in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya with huge loss of civilian lives and devastating destruction of civilian infrastructure. Even now, UK and USA are providing direct military assistance to Saudi Arabia/UAE coalition’s brutal 8-year long bombardment of Yemen, which is currently by far the world’s greatest humanitarian catastrophe.
STUC opposes NATO’s aggressive strategy of continued expansion which has inevitably created legitimate concerns about the security of Russia. NATO’s strategy has raised tensions in the region in the run-up to the current crisis, rather than bringing peace and security to the region. However STUC believes that this in no way excuses Putin’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
STUC supports self-determination for Ukraine free from interference by imperialist interference by other countries including NATO countries and Russia.
STUC also condemns the hypocrisy of the British government for criticising the state repression of protest in Russia whilst pursuing an authoritarian agenda at home to suppress the rights and freedoms of workers in Britain. These include the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill, the Nationalities and Borders Bill, the restrictions on Judicial Review, the revision of the Human Rights Act, and the immunity given to state actors from prosecution at home and abroad.
Finally STUC opposes the UK government’s disgraceful response to the plight of refugees fleeing the war to enter the UK. Our racist immigration policy-otherwise known as the “Hostile Environment”- has been exposed and must be scrapped now. We call for all refugees from this and other conflicts to be welcomed here, whatever the colour of their skin.
STUC reaffirms its commitment to supporting Stop the War (to which it is affiliated) which has consistently campaigned to end all wars, for nuclear disarmament and for military de-escalation on all sides.
STUC agrees to:
- Donate £200 to the ITUC emergency fundraising appeal; https://petitions.ituc-csi.org/support-ukraine
- Donate £100 to Sheffield Stop the War;
- Donate £100 to OVD Info which is providing legal support to citizens protesting the war in Russian
- Support protest rallies and demonstrations against the war in Ukraine.
22 March 2022