Trade unions need to be "rebooted". Otherwise they will die on society boondocks

Ask ten ordinary Ukrainians in the street, even capital street , who heads the largest trade-union association of the country, and  minimum from nine of them you will hear  "I don't know". I will not be surprised, if also the tenth doesn't know. Or try on the other hand. Reconsider pages of news or analytics of ten the most popular mass media – what are  there about trade unions? Practically anything. As if isn't present in the country of such institution .Glance into the Internet. There, of course, the search engine will offer very many mentions of the Ukrainian trade unions. Be not too lazy, see at least fifty these mentions, and you’ll see that it’s a question about little significant from the point of view of the basic functions of trade unions events or the phenomen. At least, to make for itself accurate representation that trade unions do for protection of the labor law of Ukrainians, except pronouncing of declarations, you can't. More likely, on the contrary, will come to a conclusion that protection of the above-stated rights and life of trade unions are as if in parallel spaces – aren't crossed.

I will result small, but indicative, as for me, an example: the theme of last (on July, the 7th) (the chairman of Federation of trade unions of Ukraine about whom don't know nine of ten passers-by) has been declared Vasily Hara's press conference as «Trade unions in realities of social and economic crisis: problems and prospects» (a question for discussion – «the Analysis of a social and economic situation in Ukraine and the role of trade unions in overcoming of consequences of social and economic crisis»), and was a question on it exclusively about, I quote the press release, «attempts not legitimate change of a trade-union management at all organizational levels, withdrawal of property of Federation and the member organizations, the seals and authorized documents». That is, about judicial war for property of Federation of trade unions of Ukraine (its basis  is more than hundred sanatorium institutions). Certainly, it is possible to explain this almost comical "parallelism" usual negligence of the press-service of Federation of trade unions of Ukraine in definition of a theme of press conference, but left, I repeat, it’s indicative.

All of us like to say that Ukraine builds a civil society. It, among other when in the country there are strong and influential public organizations. And what public organization objectively should be the strongest and the most influential? Certainly, trade unions are. But it’s only the theory. Really trade unions confidently are now on boondocks of public and political life of Ukraine, and the situation only worsens. That the government has made the decision to rise the price for gas without the preliminary coordination with trade unions as that is demanded by the General agreement on tariffs, and that after the corresponding protest of trade unions nobody was going to cancel this increase or at least to stop, present real, instead of declared, the place and influence of trade unions very well show.

It is unpleasant to me to speak about all it. Because during 18 years and consequently I can not engaged in trade-union work and I have no right to estimate all as the extraneous observer, without taking up a fault particle and as the trade-union figure popularity among any passers-by I have no more, and it is even less, than People's Deputy Vasily Hara. However should declare immodestly that I belong to those people who consider a situation in trade-union movement of Ukraine critical and call it immediately and resolutely to change. It is unpleasant to me to recognize that the basic news of trade-union life which get to public space, are news about receivership proceeding, participation in illegal capture, internal squabbles, intrigues, mutual recriminations, and so forth. For example, it is unpleasant to me (including because it concerns me personally) to say publicly that last month the Federation of trade unions of Ukraine has absolutely illegally thrown out from boards and the supervisory boards of funds of obligatory state social insurance the majority of representatives of trade unions which don't enter into it, Federations of trade unions of Ukraine, structure (have left only representatives of "independent" trade unions of workers of tax departments, the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Academies of Sciences) and now hundred thousand if not millions, Ukrainians, paying in considerable social payments, have lost even minimum (through minority in representation in directing bodies of funds) influence on their fair section.

Apparently, I exaggerate. Because I know very many cases of the present trade-union activity, I know many trade-union’s leaders and active workers who really worry about the business. I know that the thought on necessity of resolute actions for the sake of association of efforts of the Ukrainian trade unions doesn't hang in air. There are people who, despite of everything, don't lose belief in carrying out of the Congress of all-Ukrainian trade unions on which everything, without an exception, the largest trade-union associations will agree together to do for the sake of what, actually, trade unions exist in this world. And, hence, it is possible and it’s necessary for trade unions to get out from boondocks, or, using the term popular presently, to "reboot" national trade-union movement. At least because to wait or recede it’s simple anywhere further.


Viacheslav Roi

presiding at All-Ukrainian meeting of the trade-union organizations and professional associations which aren't a part of Federation of trade unions of Ukraine,

the chairman of Federation of trade unions of workers of small and average enterprise of Ukraine.