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The Ukrainian government at war with the proletarians
On 23 August, the Ukrainian president ratified the so-called Labour Law 5371, which applies to workers in companies with fewer than 250 employees, representing almost 70% of Ukrainian workers.
This law drastically reduces the rights and protections of workers that existed in the Labour Code: bosses can arbitrarily suspend collective agreements, extend the working week to 60 hours, cut holidays, dismiss workers during sick leave or vacation, force them to do work not specified in the contract, dismiss them almost arbitrarily, etc. Weekends can be reduced to one day. British-style 'zero-hours contracts' have been introduced. Women could be assigned strenuous and dangerous work, work in mines, etc. that the Labour Code did not allow. Proletarians dismissed "because of the war" would receive little money and would have to appeal to the "aggressor state" for compensation!
The only "reciprocation" consists in the fact that the workers can give immediate notice (and find themselves on the street without compensation!) - unless, of course, they are employed on compulsory defence-related work...
Back in March, the government suspended a number of Labour Code provisions for all enterprises during martial law and banned strikes. The present law corresponds to a pre-war draft drawn up under the influence of British imperialism (1). The mobilisation of the workers made its adoption in 2020 unfeasible.
However, the Ukrainian bourgeoisie is now using the war to launch unprecedented attacks against its proletarians (one expert speaks of a "return to the 19th century")! It can rely on the sycophancy of the trade unions; according to a British NGO whose report we quoted from, "a trade union spokesman, who refused to criticise the bill for fear of reprisals, explained that in times of war the unions should not oppose the changes". These scoundrels serve their masters well...
This is what "national patriotic unity" means for proletarians: serving as cannon fodder at the front or dying at work in the enterprises just for the profit of the capitalists!
International Communist Party (Proletarian)
September 5th, 2022
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