France: trade unions preparing a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine

Through . Published on 20 April 2022 à 16h40 - Update on 20 April 2022 à 16h40

The humanitarian convoy may arrive by mid or late May, “at best”. Thus announced eight French trade union bodies (CFDT, CGE-CGC, CFTC, CGT, FO, FSU, Sud-Solidaires, and UNSA) during a joint press conference held on 19 April. The convoy will be a train comprising 11 specific carriages lent for this purpose by a company and put together using resources from the French rail body, SNCF following negotiations with the trade unions. The material being sent to Ukraine (medical supplies, kitchen equipment, industrial washing machines, blankets) is being collected according to a list drawn up by Ukrainian trade union confederations (KVPU and FPU). The convoy will take about 10 days to reach the Romania|Ukraine border and vans will also be onboard to then distribute the materials. There will also be a profile raising French trade union representative delegation that could potentially create other convoys in the future. The cross-union co-operation framework, which is based on common united appeal for peace and sits ‘against Putin’s regime’, has already enabled an initial shipment of funds to the Ukrainian trade union bodies, following an appeal by the International Trade Union Confederation. The trades unions are also working on receiving refugees fleeing Ukraine, “whatever their nationality”, and particularly employees who lost their jobs after the start of the war. “Several solidarity actions have been launched in companies, thanks to our activists who called on the companies to see how they could cooperate,” says Ivan Ricordeau (CFDT). Among our union teams, some are also trying, within the employee representative bodies, to mobilize accommodation for refugees from that which is normally made available to employees during their holidays.”

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