mine workers union defending mines, defending Ukraine

Dayne Goodwin

Unions strive to keep Ukraine’s mines running, protect civilians and appeal for solidarity
Interview with Nataliya Levytska Deputy Chairperson of the NGPU (Independent Mineworkers Union of Ukraine)
by Christopher Ford, Ukraine Solidarity Campaign, August 31

[This interview will be appear in the new book UKRAINE Voices of Resistance and Solidarity which will be published shortly. Thank you to Yuliya Ivanova for translation.]

Please explain your own position in the NGPU. How many workers do you represent; where do they work; and in which areas of Ukraine?

The independent trade union of miners of Ukraine (NGPU) represents mine workers in coal, iron and uranium ore, non-ferrous metals, peat and energy. It has representation in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Volyn, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv – a total membership, as of January 1, 2022, of 43,500 people. At the 9th NGPU Congress of May 27, 2021 I was elected to the post of first deputy chairperson. I have been working in independent trade unions for more than 20 years. The NGPU, together with members of trade union organizations, fights for the rights of miners, preservation of jobs, prevention of deterioration of labour legislation and social protection of miners and their families.

What is the NGPU trade unions’ view of Russia’s war on Ukraine?

The NGPU and our leading organizations consider Russia’s attack to be a cynical attempt by the Russian regime to destroy Ukraine and its people. From the first days of the full-scale invasion, many miners voluntarily went to defend the Ukrainian land in the territorial defences and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Most of our members volunteer and help civilians, the military and medics. We consider the Russian-Ukrainian conflict a war against democracy not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe and the world, as well as a genocide of the Ukrainian people.
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Report back of delegation to Ukraine by Alena Ivanov and Christopher Ford
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