KVPU (Ukraine’s independent union federation), reports on the protests in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.

Teachers, miners, medical workers, transport workers and street vendors are among the thousands of members of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) taking part in protests over the past three weeks in Kiev. Gathering daily with supporters of European integration at Euromaidan, the city’s central square, KVPU members are urging the government to allow freedom of assembly and are protesting government actions that have driven the country into debt. KVPU says the government owes $313.4 million in guaranteed social payments for Ukrainians.

Union members also are concerned over a three-month delay in salary payment to public employees, persecution of free trade union activists, job cuts and questionable court judgments.

“The ruling regime is not likely to join Europe as the European values will prevent them from robbing us blind. We need to unite here at Euromaidan and show our firm determination to become part of Europe,” KVPU President Mikhail Volynets said as he addressed thousands of  peaceful demonstrators at Maidan.

“We need to put an end to the abuse of power by the country officials who deprive our workers and their families of the right to peaceful demonstration and who rule Ukraine by sheer force,” Volynets said.

Ukrainians also are demanding release of those arrested for taking part in the rallies and are asking for those responsible for the violence against protesters to be held accountable.

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the News from The Solidarity Center