Support Ukrainian miners

Picket outside AGM of EVRAZ Corp
THURSDAY 12 JUNE, 10:30am
Chelsea Football FC, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS

Protest called by Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity

The Oligarchs of the EVRAZ corporation – exploiters of Ukrainian miners—are meeting for their AGM on Thursday 12 June. NGPU, the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine in the city of Kryvyi Rih are fighting to end to their slave wages. They are appealing to the labour movement to help them.

The protest on Thursday 12 June outside the EVRAZ Corp AGM  is in support of the miners in the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, employed by EVRAZ. They are appealing for solidarity from the workers of Europe. Whilst attention has been focused on the conflict in Ukraine, the social-economic crisis is being overlooked:

  • Workers real wages have fallen by up to 50% as the cost of living has risen,
  • Miners have received only 15% of their actual pay rates,
  • A promised pay rise for miners of 20% turned into a £25 hand-out.

Many miners work for the company EVRAZ, which is based in London. It is owned by the Russian Oligarch Abramov, who is worth $7.5 billion. The CEO Frolov is worth $1.6 billion. In contrast the average wage of a miner is £267.00 per-month! Miners are driven to work harder and harder to raise production. If you refuse to work in dangerous conditions, you get sacked! Behind the glossy image of EVRAZ miners describe their conditions as ‘industrial feudalism’.

The oligarchs who rule Ukraine are one of the main causes of the current crisis. They pay slave wages, pay almost no tax, and hoard vast wealth abroad. Ukrainian workers are enduring, conflict, poverty and austerity. The Miners of Kryvyi Rih are fighting back. They have ensured peace and unity in their community. They are united in struggle against the Ukrainian and Russian Oligarchs, they are demanding a 50% pay rise from EVRAZ to end their poverty.


  1. The miners of the Donbas march against the government militas.

    Borotba welcomes Donetsk miners that came to rally against the ATO

    Union Borotba (Struggle) welcomes the Donetsk miners that came to rally against the so-called “anti-terrorist operation”.

    The miners have always been a fighting and active detachment of the working class. Today, when the junta of oligarchs and neo-fascists has launched a war against its own people, the resistance of the working class is the most important means of anti-fascist and anti-war struggle.

    The miners’ action is an example for the workers of the South-East and the Ukrainian labor movement.

    The whole country is looking at you miners, as people who every day risk your lives for the general welfare of the people. The oligarchs have unleashed carnage, and you, as powerful advanced workers, showed your opposition to this infamous case.

    Welcome to the fighters for peace. Glory to the organized working class!

  2. Sadly, it seems that there have been no strikes for peace in East Ukraine. It’s probably a myth. After one oligarch came out against the separatists, the separatists went to his mines, four of them and got the workers out – for one day. A small demo was held – paraded by the usual left as a workers initiative.

    It’s a great thing when workers strike for peace, but the reality is that miners in Ukraine are part of a working class that is divided by nationalism and struggles to win international solidarity. Miners in Russian-owned mines tend to stand with the Maidan movement, and those in Ukrainian-owned mines often stand with the separatists. That enemy’s enemy logic has been dangerous in the past in Ukraine, and still is. Describing the conflict in Ukraine as a junta at war with its own people disguises the reality: The anti-terror operation is a draconian response to mercenary militias funded by Russian oligarchs, who are outside the control of the local people. Not only the Ukrainian troops, but also these mercenaries, should go home.

  3. As far as I can ascertain, the only mine that Evraz owns in Krivy Rih produces iron ore and faces a different situation to the Donbas coal mines.

    Shortly after taking over as President with 3 million less votes than his predecessor, Poroshenko’s un-reformed cabinet announced the privatisation of 38 Ukrainian coal mines.
    This was intended to meet the demand for budget cuts being made by IMF

    Privatisation will almost certainly mean mass lay-offs and pit closures, because the IMF will not allow government subsidies. (Yanukovych subsidised the mines by $1.8 billion a year)
    50% of coal mines are already owned by Rinat Akhmetov, a former ally of Yanukovych, who has changed sides. His failed attempts to use his employees to police the anti-Kiev protests in Mariupol have already been well-documented.

    For a campaign to focus on the policies of one company, which is owned by a Russian oligarch and ally of Putin, while ignoring the equally dubious role played by numerous Ukrainian oligarchs, must lead to doubts about its real aims.
    Is it to unify the working class across ethnic, linguistic and religious lines?
    Or is it to support one section of the working class and one wing of the Knightsbridge mafia?

    These doubts might be allayed if the unions behind this campaign announced that they are opposed to the privatisation of the coal mines. They should also make a statement condemning the air and artillery attacks, which are currently being conducted by the Kiev government, causing numerous civilian deaths and injuries.

  4. Don’t be silly! Trade union principles dictate that the Evraz workers should be paid.
    But that doesn’t automatically make their demands, or any international campaign to defend them “socialist”.
    On the contrary; in a situation of near-civil war, when towns and cities in the East are being shelled and bombed; when nationalisation is a key issue affecting workers across Ukraine, to focus on the struggle within a single enterprise under such circumstances is to avoid politics. It’s no basis upon which to build an international solidarity campaign and smacks, dare I say it? of -economism.

    The workers of the Eastern Ukraine are now discovering the bitter truth; the “Red Calvary” is not coming to their rescue; Poroshenko and Putin both defend privatisation.
    Their leaders are divided and in their desperation, some of them are turning to the Russian extreme nationalists.

    A “solidarity campaign” that is based on fence-sitting neutrality will deliver them bound hand and foot to the dregs of the Russian Right.

  5. I’m glad you agree. Why do you think it is that so many anti-maidan socialists are:-
    * calling these workers scabs, simply because their union broke away from the state-controlled unions in the 1980s, and
    * refusing to support them.

    Perhaps their struggle seems modest for you, but as a small campaign who get a dozen or so people at our protests and meetings isn’t the test of these things whether what we are doing is progressive or reactionary? We have the opportunity to pressure EVRAZ because it is headquartered here in London.

    Of course we are not sitting on the fence, watching: we are trying to do something here in our city: and that is solidarity. As for economism…. read the rest of this website. The idea that we are focussing only on the industrial struggle is a joke.

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