PROFBUD holds Congress, affirms “power in unity”
Under the theme “Power in Unity,” Ukraine’s Building Workers’ Union (PROFBUD) held its VIII Statutory Congress on 30 September gathering delegates and international guests in a mixed physical and online format. The event was attended online by BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson and EFBWW General Secretary Tom Deleu, and BWI affiliates from Rakennusliitto (Finland), Histadrut (Israel), Budowlani (Poland), IG-BAU (Germany), SINDICONS (Moldova) and CBWU (Kazakhstan).
PROFBUD President Vasyl Andreyev said that for their union, every Congress is an opportunity to assess their work through the years, deliberate with government authorities and social partners and make plans for the future.
“However, we have gathered amidst uncertain times. As a union, we feel that it is part of our responsibility to help build a better future, and this Congress is a good opportunity to formulate our vision. The theme of our Congress is our mission. There is ‘power in unity.’ Amidst challenging times, only by staying united can we win our fights,” Andreyev said.
During the Congress, delegates expressed that even with the challenges faced by the Ukrainian trade union movement over the last five years, PROFBUD was in the forefront of the fight against government attempts to reform the labour and trade union laws. They also said that the union continued to grow, organise new members and cover new sectors, such as the tower crane operators. The delegates said that PROFBUD will continue to mobilise its members against any attempt to undermine workers’ rights and fight for decent work in Ukraine.
Yuson, in his address to Congress delegates, recognised the “inspiring” efforts and actions taken by PROFBUD to protect workers’ rights in Ukraine despite the exceptionally difficult time brought about by COVID-19.
“BWI has closely followed and monitored the actions your union has taken over the past months. We saw how PROFBUD was busy throughout the lockdown to ensure that workers were not dismissed or forced to take unpaid leave. It even organised massive protest actions notwithstanding the challenging circumstances. PROFBUD continues to inspire us by standing up against the system and abuse of power. I am confident that united and determined, PROFBUD will take forward the struggle, embodying our belief that workers united can never be defeated,” Yuson said.