All-Ukrainian Trade Union action was held in Kyiv

Today, on 8 December, the All-Ukrainian Action of the Federation of Trade Unions Ukraine and its affiliates was held in Kyiv with demands to strengthen social protection of workers and other categories of citizens in the face of rising energy prices and tariffs for housing and municipal services.

The action was carried out to take into account in the draft State Budget expenditures for state social guarantees and to prevent lowering of living standards. The main slogan of the action: ‘Trade unions demand decent life for people!’

The action was attended by more than 10,000 trade union members from all regions of Ukraine, representatives of labour collectives of all sectors of national economy. The action started at 9.00 as the protesters walked from Independence Square to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. They held a rally demanding the Government to return to tens of thousands of workers in jobs with hazardous and difficult working conditions the unreasonably abolished right to early retirement (the Lists Nos. 1 and 2).

Then the protesters went to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine where they held the second meeting. In Constitution Square in front of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, protesters demanded the People’s Deputies to:

- set the minimum wage at the level of the real living wage calculated on the basis of the updated ‘market basket’, i.e. 3,200 UAH and ensure appropriate expenditures in the State Budget 2017.

- reduce the price of natural gas tariffs for utilities to economic level taking into account the solvency of citizens, ensure transparency and control over pricing;

- reform wage, and remove from the draft Law No. 5130 rules on narrowing wage, pension and scholarship guarantees, and others.

The protesters held slogans ‘We demand 3,200 minimum wage!’; ‘European wages for European prices!’; ‘I do not want subsidy, I want a decent wage!’; ‘Increased rent, increase wages!’; ‘No to destruction of scholarship system!"; ‘STOP to policy of cheap workforce!’; ‘Working people should not be poor’ ‘The minimum wage has to be at the level of the real living wage’; ‘Raising the minimum wage is a way to increase pensions and social benefits!’.

The meeting ended with adoption of the Resolution.

On 7 December, on the eve of the All-Ukrainian Trade Union Action, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andrii Parubii met a delegation of trade union representatives headed by the FPU President Grigorii Osovyi with participation of the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv and the Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Andrii Reva.

The parties discussed the demands put forward by the FPU to the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to strengthen protection of workers through adoption of socially oriented laws, elimination of wage arrears, particularly in the mining communities, raising the minimum wage, wages of teachers, doctors and other representatives of the public sector.

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expressed interest in legislation addressing the issues raised and briefed on preparation of the draft State Budget of Ukraine 2017 to the second reading.