Solidarity Against Corruption
Solidarity Against Corruption is a coalition effort by Ukrainian civil society and trade unions to overcome corruption and to educate on the importance of freedom of association in this struggle. It is also an international platform for concerted anticorruption discourse that unites civil society organizations from across the world.
The Solidarity Against Corruption coalition includes:
- North Macedonia
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The countries of the Middle East and North Africa
The coalition is currently expanding and is bound to include partner civil society organizations from other countries beyond the list
In Ukraine, coalition activities are primarily represented through the Vykryvachi project, coordinated by NGO Labor Initiatives, and supported by Solidarity Center in Ukraine. The online resource Vykryvachi.trudovi.org explains the potential role of trade unions as vehicles for the protection of whistleblowers in the workplace, through collective bargaining mechanisms, the right to strike, and international norms that protect workplace activism. The Vykryvachi project conjoins the efforts of individual activists, whistleblowers, and civil society organizations supporting whistleblowers and building a culture of transparency in Ukraine and the region.
There are ample examples of unions using solidarity to resist employers taking advantage of their positions for illicit personal gain. Union activists have
Trade unions possess unique anticorruption tools:
- The right to strike
- The right of workers to bargain freely with employers
- International norms and laws protect workplace activism through the lens of freedom of association and the right to form and join trade unions
In most cases, whistleblowers are employees, workers inside the corrupt institution. When those in power, public or private, government or corporate, engage in corruption, ordinary people can fight back by raising their voices and exposing corruption. Strong, democratic, independent unions can play a role in utilizing labor law to protect workers, to push for transparency in public and private enterprises, and organize public campaigns around issues of corruption.Tristan Masat, country program director of Solidarity Center in Georgia, previously country program director of Solidarity Center in Ukraine
NGO Labor Initiatives promotes and protects workers’ rights, freedom of association, and human rights in Ukraine and the region. Labor Initiatives is dedicated to developing Ukrainian civil society and building effective democratic mechanisms for social change. Labor Initiatives lawyers and experts provide pro bono legal support in labor-related cases, advocate for decent work, engage the civil society to advance gender equality and battle discrimination, and build a community around labor advocacy and action.
The Solidarity Center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization helping workers attain safe and healthy workplaces, family-supporting wages, dignity on the job and greater equity at work and in their community. Allied with the AFL-CIO, the Solidarity Center assists workers across the globe as, together, they fight discrimination, exploitation and the systems that entrench poverty—to achieve shared prosperity in the global economy.