Trade unions and the TUC have written to the Chancellor calling on him to use his spring statement to introduce ‘emergency support’ in response to the conflict in Ukraine.
This includes measures to support Ukrainian refugees, ensure that sanctions are effective, and protect UK families from the impact of rising energy prices.
The TUC has condemned the invasion of Ukraine, expressed its solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and called on governments to pursue all diplomatic efforts towards peace.
The letter from the TUC and unions says that the Chancellor must now step up with new financial measures to both support the Ukrainian people, and respond to the impact of the conflict on the cost-of-living crisis in the UK. The letter calls on the Chancellor to:
The letter also calls on the government to ensure that those working in supply chains are protected from disruption, including by considering the use of a short-time working scheme.
The full text of the letter is below in notes to editors.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
"Trade unions condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine. We know that working people in Ukraine, Russia and across Europe want peace. The UK government must pursue all diplomatic efforts to achieve that goal.
“The Chancellor must use his spring statement to act too. That means ensuring that sanctions are more effective, with funding to crack down on money-laundering in the UK. And he should fund greater humanitarian assistance for Ukrainians, including safe passage for those fleeing the war.
“Working people in the UK will need protection from even steeper hikes in gas bills from the conflict. The Chancellor should introduce grants to help with energy prices, roll out an emergency programme of home insulation, and fund it with a windfall tax on excess energy profits.”
On Ukrainians seeking safe haven in the UK, Frances added:
“The government must provide safe routes to the UK for those escaping conflict. And ministers should scrap their Nationality and Borders Bill, which will close the door to people fleeing war and threats to their lives.”
- Full text of the letter to the Chancellor:
Protecting working people from the impact of the invasion of Ukraine
The trade union movement is united in its condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. Our solidarity is with the working people of Ukraine. Working people always suffer in conflict and the pursuit of peace is a fundamental trade union value, an essential condition to secure safety, social justice and workers’ and human rights.
The UK government must now take further action to support and strengthen international efforts to impose significant and effective sanctions on Russia and to support all diplomatic efforts towards peace. And it must play its part in supporting humanitarian assistance for forcibly displaced people and welcoming refugees seeking to come to the UK.
The government must also ensure that it takes every step possible to protect working people here at home from the impact of the conflict and measures taken in response to this. We urge you to use your forthcoming budget to act. We call on you to:
In addition, the government should consider implementing a new 100 per cent tax on additional profits made by UK based companies from their shareholdings in Russian state-backed enterprises that have profited from the gas price crisis. For example, this includes profits made by oil companies Shell and Vitol from their shareholdings in oil and gas fields in Russia in joint ventures with state-controlled companies Rosneft and Gazprom.
Trade union leaders would be happy to meet you to discuss these issues, and the steps we must take now to support working people in Ukraine and in the UK,
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC
Sue Ferns, President, TUC
Christina McAnea, General Secretary, UNISON
Sharon Graham, General Secretary, Unite
Gary Smith, General Secretary GMB
Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretaries, NEU
Paddy Lilis, General Secretary, Usdaw
Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT
Dave Ward, General Secretary, CWU
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS
Mike Clancy, General Secretary, Prospect
Ged Nichols, General Secretary, Accord
- Britain needs a pay rise demonstration: The TUC is holding a mass demonstration in Blackpool on Saturday 19 March. Thousands of people from across the UK will march through Blackpool - as the Conservative party spring conference begins at the Winter Gardens - to demonstrate against the cost of living crisis and call for a pay rise for workers, decent sick pay, an end to zero hours contracts and more. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady will address the march. For more information, please contact the press office.
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
Want to hear about our latest news and blogs?
Sign up now to get it straight to your inbox
To access the admin area, you will need to setup two-factor authentication (TFA).