Steelworkers, other unions respond to Ukrainians’ calls for aid

The United Steelworkers recently received a request for aid from the Trade Union of the Metalworkers and Miners of Ukraine, a fellow affiliate of the global union federation, IndustriALL.

“These union members make steel, just like we do, at ArcelorMittal’s Kryvyi Rih facility,” Steelworkers President Tom Conway said in a letter to members. “Many of them have elected to stay and fight, and they need supplies ranging from helmets to socks to bandages so they can continue to defend their city and their loved ones.”

Conway urged individual members and Steelworkers locals to make a contribution at

“As this war drags on, and their need grows ever greater, we know Steelworkers will continue to stand in global solidarity with Ukrainian workers, doing everything we can to help them withstand these atrocities,” Conway said.

USW’s call for contributions from members and its locals follows similar responses from other unions, in the U.S. and worldwide.

Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten visited a Ukrainian refugee and resettlement center just inside Poland’s border with the Ukraine about a month ago.

She discussed the war with both aid workers and Ukrainian and Polish teachers’ unions, and brought a $100,000 contribution to buy books and supplies for Ukrainian students forced to flee.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin first sent troops into the Ukraine, the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Labour Organization both condemned the onslaught and demanded a cease-fire, withdrawal and negotiations.

“Putin’s invasion is a nightmare for those who face the daily reality of bullets, bombs and rockets, and it will have extremely damaging consequences worldwide, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable,” ITUC said.

It also warned the response to the invasion would set off a worldwide arms race, divert foreign aid from developing nations and workers who most need it, and that arms production would benefit war profiteers.

The invasion has disrupted grain production in both Russia and Ukraine, whose markets are primarily in the developing world.


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