Conflicts & War

Unions urge EU to take the lead in halting conflict in Ukraine

Brussels, Mar 15 (EFE).- Around 100 trade union activists from across Europe gathered here Tuesday to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine and urge the European Union to embark on “real” negotiations with Moscow to put a stop to the Russian military campaign.

On March 23, labor and business leaders are due in Brussels for the tripartite social summit with European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen, Council of Europe chair Charles Michel and Emmanuel Macron of France, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency.

The rally was organized by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

“We ask the European institutions to step to the front and begin a real negotiation with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin. It’s absolutely necessary to demand a cease-fire, start genuine negotiations and wager on peace and democracy,” ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini told Efe.

The event, in which Ukrainian workers participated remotely, promoted “an extraordinary effort of solidarity” by European governments and civil society to deliver humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

ETUC’s member-unions are already providing financial and logistical support to assist Ukrainian refugees in Central Europe, Visentini said.

Along with efforts to help Ukrainians, the ETUC wants to see the EU adopt measures to ease the impacts on European workers and consumers of the numerous economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia.

“We need Europe to deal with the effects of these sanctions on our economy, on our workers, and in our homes,” Visentini said. “We have incredibly unpleasant speculation over energy prices. There is no justification for this increase.” EFE fhg/dr

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