Representatives of the British trade union movement yesterday delivered a heavy 4×4 pickup vehicle to their counterparts in Ukraine, where it will be used by the XX Battalion of the Territorial Defence, based in East Ukraine. This is the first of several planned deliveries on behalf of UK trade unions.
The unit, which is largely staffed by miners, put out a call for funds, medical supplies, and vehicles last month via the Ukrainian miners’ union PRUP.
The National Union of Mineworkers, together with other British unions, including ASLEF and GMB, responded with donations totalling over £20,000 – enough to buy the pickup and additional equipment in the UK.
The pickup, a Mitsubishi L200 was driven to Lviv, Ukraine, by Wayne Thomas, NUM Vice President and Area Secretary for the South Wales NUM, and Mick Antoniw MS, Labour Member of the Welsh Senedd for Pontypridd, who is of Ukrainian descent.
Wayne Thomas said: “The NUM is proud to have gathered donations from a range of trade unions in the UK to take to our colleagues in Ukraine with whom we have long-established links. We hope the vehicle and the specialist medical equipment will help save lives.”
Mick Antoniw MS added: “I am using my holiday time to help deliver this vital equipment to the brave trade unionists who are putting their lives on the line every day to protect their comrades, families and freedom against Russian fascism.”
They were met by Sergey Yunak, head of the PRUP miners’ union and Andriy Denysov, a Battalion Commander. Sergey Yunak said: “Ukrainian miners and trade unionists are grateful to the solidarity from British trade unions as our members lay down their lives to defend our country and freedoms.”
Andriy Denysov, Battalion Commander said: “I want to thank British workers for their support and donations of much-needed material aid which will help Ukraine defeat Russian Fascism.”
In addition to the vehicle, the team took vital medical equipment, including tourniquets, chest seals and blood clotting agents used to treat casualties, plus two CPR training kits, torches, and vital spare tyres for the vehicle.
Mick Whelan General Secretary of the train drivers’ union ASLEF said: “ASLEF is proud to be supporting workers in the Ukraine at this most difficult and dangerous of times as they strive to protect their independence and freedom.”
The Ukraine Solidarity Campaign seeks to organise solidarity and provide information in support of the Ukrainian labour movement. www.ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org
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