Statement by the Chairman of the Federation of workers of small and medium business of Ukraine Viacheslav Roi at the Extraordinary Congress of markets of Ukraine in Odessa

The protection of the small and medium businesses - today is the main task of our Federation of Trade Unions.

Dear colleagues!

I congratulate you on behalf of the Federation of small and medium enterprises in Ukraine.

The small and medium business in Ukraine has been never sweet, but today is especially difficult situation for it. So actually, because of it you are gathered here in Odessa, from all over Ukraine. Take from us, unions, the sincere condolences to your trouble.

Believe me, this is not gloat and black humor.

Because when it deals with the small and medium businesses we don’t to laugh. We understand the simple truth that the future of the employees of the business sectors directly depend on will this business live or die.

So we speak clearly and directly: the protection of the small and medium businesses - today is the main task of our Federation of Trade Unions. We are quite seriously, without humor, today are guided by so popular in history slogan: "For our and your freedom!"

It is rather good that the employees of the small and medium businesses, including you - the employees of markets, are trying to unite yourselves in a powerful nationwide organization to protect your rights. We, the unions, are only welcome this.

You are ready to fight decidedly for the preservation and development of your business and we want you to convince that the trade unions of the employees of your business – is our the most reliable ally in this fight.

Probably, the most of you know or at least heard about the conflict around the automarket in Zaporozhye. So I will not talk about its details, but I want to emphasize that the Zaporozhye trade union of the workers of an automarket, which is a member of our Federation, during the conflict - and it has been continued already five years - consistently and without hesitation help the administration of market to fight off all attempts of the raider seizure of property and land . Actually, the word "help" – the wrong word. The union is fighting with the management, taking on itself the burden of conflict. Authoritative officials of various official levels - from Kiev to Zaporozhye authorities - behave themselves differently. Someone help, someone help not in enough level, someone openly or covertly support the "raiders", but the members of the trade union of the automarket do not shake in one direction, then in another. Because they understand: they protect not the personal business of the director Alexander Tsokur, but their own business, their jobs, the welfare of their own families. And I'm not sure enough that without the help of the trade union, the owner of business on the automarket of Zaporozhye could managed to defend their case.

We want to assure you that we, the unions, not just your situational ally. We – are the strategic ally. Yes, we argued and will argue when come to the agreement about the terms of the employees, but this rivalry will never be the war of attrition, because the unions never seek to destroy your business. This authority, the officials, who take bribes from you, can think and think vey often that they could live without you, because the belonging to the government always provide them the beautiful life. We, the unions, do not think so.

We, the unions, didn’t keep silence when it was necessary to stop the adoption of the Tax Code, which destroys small and medium business. Now we urge you not to remain silent when the Verkhovna Rada is preparing for adoption a project of the Labour Code, in which the right of trade unions and employees removed. Perhaps, many of you are satisfied with the extension of rights of employers, incorporated in the draft Labour Code. Do not break forth into that complete dependence on the employer's employees will help your business prosper. The small business - is the most democratic form of business, and therefore it can grow well only in a democracy. A democracy - is the protection of rights of everybody, not just of the government and employers. Big business can protect itself from the state with money. And it is doubtful. You can not afford such protection. Deprived of civil rights, malicious employee on employer - is the biggest danger for you. Because if suddenly the power again begin pushing on you, voting laws and practices which is similar to those, proposed in the original draft Tax Code, or when suddenly will want to eliminate all trade market, you find yourself face to face with a powerful enemy. And employees, resenting arbitrariness of employers and customers, unsatisfied with high prices on your markets (and they are high because otherwise the business will not survive), they won’t want to protect you. Ana the power, destroying you, also will say: we do it at the request of ordinary people who dissatisfied with "hucksters"!

Think about, who will protect you better in the critical time for your business. Private deputies, of those who at that time be in opposition? Officer who used to peek in your pocket? Or the millions of your employees, organized into unions, business unions or any other organization? We offer you to be proactive and not only prevent but also directly assist the establishment of primary trade union centers in your business. Think well and you make sure that this is the language of business people, perspective investments. Believe me, it’s very hard to create a union at an enterprise, where is the dozen of people, when the owner of this company for some reason consider that the union – is the enemy, and that without it would be much easier to do business. From this position both we, trade unions, and you – employers, will lose.

Your business is vitally needed only for you and your people, not for the government or the political opposition. Don’t think that you solve all your problems if give the envelope to the high office. It will help you firstly and then create a new critical situation for you, and you again brought a new envelope. And it will continue so to infinity. Finally, if you gathered here today, you realize that salvation is in the union, but not in envelopes.

Let's fight for better time for us and for you. The best time is when the government finally does not prevent the normal development of small and medium business, and we - the trade unions and employers - can quietly, not looking at the various officials, roughly saying – can grab each other by the throat, embossing each his own. We - the normal conditions and normal salary, you - normal, not scanty, profits and guarantees of a normal future for own business. I believe that together we will not fight for better times very long.

Once again I congratulate all participants of the meeting. Thank you for attention.