As a bedrock principle of trade unionism, democracy must be protected not only in our workplaces but around the world. The Russian government’s attack on Ukraine has devastated the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the region and deepened the threat to democracy globally. The labor movement stands in solidarity to defend against this rising threat.
Ukrainian workers and union members are risking their lives every day to provide food, shelter and safety to those impacted by the war. The global labor movement has aided this life-saving work by raising funds and supplying humanitarian goods, and through other acts of solidarity. These coordinated efforts underscore the critical and unparalleled infrastructure through which the labor movement promotes and defends democracy.
Millions of people have fled their homes in Ukraine since the war began, forcing many into vulnerable circumstances and increasing the risks to marginalized communities. To facilitate a safe haven from war, countries should welcome refugees regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity and nationality. Governments should implement policies to integrate refugees safely and securely into the workforce.
The AFL-CIO calls for an immediate withdrawal of all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory and a complete cease-fire, and will take the following actions to that end:
• Provide and promote humanitarian support to those directly impacted by the war.
• Advocate and amplify the work of front-line trade union members, including those in Russia and Belarus who have bravely opposed the war despite the increasing risks to their own lives.
• Press governments to cooperate through multilateral bodies to institute and enforce sanctions that punish the authoritarian Russian regime for its unprovoked war on Ukraine.
• Support the prudent divestment of public pension fund assets from investments with ties to Russia.