Aug 25 2014

PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN UKRAINE: DRIVERS ARE FORGOTTEN

A major dispute is underway in the western Ukrainian city of Khmelnitsky where the transport workers have organised in the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU). Pavlo Vezdenetsky is an organiser of the KVPU who has been campaigning in the city. In response the management are now victimising the union representative Anastasia Podpruzhnikova, falsifying her sick record and she has been threatened by Police. The Ukraine Solidarity Campaign calls for support for the Ukrainian transport workers (see www.ukrainesolidarity.co.uk).

 

Ukraine’s transport sector is repeating the mistakes of Thatcher’s public transport reforms in the UK.

After the fall of Soviet Union in 1991 public transport entered a difficult period. The disintegration of the post-soviet Ukrainian economy saw a sharp deterioration of public transport and especially working conditions.  There was no investment in a new fleet and drivers salaries were very low – at a level 30-40$/month. (Yes forty dollars per month). The established soviet trade unions didn’t try to fight against these unfair conditions, under the previous communist regime their role were only to help keep workers under Communist Party control and to provide some benefits (organising of summer vacations, workers health centres, etc.).

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