At the 3rd March, 2022 BTUC Delegate meeting two motions were passed on the ongoing Ukraine conflict. For the purposes of clarity, these motions which were originally a motion and amendment were split into two distinct motions. They are as follows:


Emergency EC Motion: Stop the War in Ukraine
BTUC endorses the following statement, issued by the Executive Committee, in defence of
Zarah Sultana MP:
‘The Executive of Birmingham Trade Union Council unreservedly condemns the recent abuse
against Coventry South Labour MP Zarah Sultana.

Zarah, a young working-class woman from Birmingham with a strong history of trade union
activism, has bravely spoken out against imperialist aggression, condemning the Russian invasion
of Ukraine, resisting the clamour for Britain to become involved militarily and raising questions
around the history of NATO expansion in Eastern Europe.

She should be applauded. But instead, she has received death threats.

We have seen throughout history that in times of war the British establishment and their political
spokespeople unleash a torrent of abuse, condemnation and red‑baiting against anyone who
even dares question a rush to war. They know the consequences of their actions and the danger
it places critics of conflict in: in fact, that is often the objective.

Trade Unionists and socialists in particular are accused of treason, siding with and being
‘mouthpieces of the enemy’, and face physical threats. We are seeing that again now.
We expect nothing better from the Tories and the right-wing press. But it is nauseating that
right-wing Labour MPs like Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy and Ben Bradshaw are
whipping up the hysteria too. They know full well that by adding fuel to the fire they are
potentially placing people in harm’s way.

They should withdraw their comments, apologise and offer public support to MPs like Zarah
and Jeremy Corbyn, who are once again showing they are on the right side of history.
Birmingham Trades Union Council offers Zarah our full and unconditional solidarity. We will
continue to bring working people together to fight for a better future: one without war and
needless slaughter.

We offer our full solidarity to all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine, all those calling for a
peaceful resolution and call upon the UK government to open the borders to conflict refugees.’

Second Motion

Bham TUC notes

  1. The international call by Anti-War campaigns for a day of protests on Sunday 6th March
    to oppose the war in Ukraine,
    for the withdraw of Russian troops and the call for stopping the expansion of NATO.
  2. The call by Bham StWC and others for a public protest on this basis in Victoria Square 3
    pm Sunday 6th March.
  3. The suspension of independent news outlets in Russia who are critical of the Putin’s war
    policy. The call of Kier Starmer
    for similar repression of democratic discussion on the war in Ukraine by calling for the closure
    of RT and the closure of the
    Young Labour organisation thus copying Putin’s repressive policies.

  4. To support the Bham StWC protest on Sunday calling for the end to war in Ukraine,
    assisting it financially by paying for the
    promotional leaflet and the cost of the transportation of the sound equipment to the protest.
  5. To condemn the call by Kier Starmer for the closure of RT (which directly contradicts his
    supposed support for freedom
    and democracy) and his closure of the Young Labour organisation for their critical comments on
  6. To send the full motion agreed at the TUC meeting to the local press and Bham Labour
    Party organisations.


There was strong interest shown by delegates towards a third motion, recently passed by BCU UCU’s branch, that could possibly serve as a model template motion for sister unions in Birmingham to adjust or use as a base for a similar motion. As some delegates could not seem to download the motion, it has been included below here. For clarities sake, this motion was not passed at the most recent meeting as it was not on the agenda – it was only discussed.

BCU UCU Model Motion

BCU UCU unequivocally condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the continuation of the war.
In launching an invasion of a sovereign state, Russia has committed a war crime. Reports suggest
that additional actions against international law have taken place, including the use of cluster
munitions. We call on Russia to unilaterally withdraw from Ukrainian territory.

We also call on the UK to take steps to deescalate the conflict. This should include but not be limited
to making assurances that UK will not support the expansion of NATO to include Ukraine or Georgia.
We also call on the government to provide safe passage to Ukrainian, and other refugees.

We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. We stand with journalists in Ukraine and Russia
providing independent media coverage of the conflict. We also stand in solidarity with those
speaking out against the invasion in Russia, and as a union of education workers, we especially stand
with academics at Russian universities who have spoken out against the invasion, many who are
facing censorship and arrest.

We are also concerned that there may be a conflation between the Russian state that is committing
war crimes and ordinary Russian citizens, Russian speakers, or those of Russian descent. We oppose
any discrimination against Russian staff and students at BCU and discrimination against Russians in
the UK more generally. We want to make it clear that not all Russian citizens are oligarchs or allies of
Putin. We urge those at other universities to do the same.

We condemn Western political leaders and media persons/outlets employing Western-/Euro-centric, stigmatised, Islamophobic, racist discourses in their comments on and comparisons of
Ukrainians to those fleeing wars and conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia; and
the hostile and discriminatory treatment of non-White refugees and asylum-seekers from Ukraine as
well as other parts of the world.

Within these alarmingly dangerous developments we:

  • call for solidarity among all people on earth and for no involvement in this war that contributes to
    violence or hate
  • encourage providing support to academics who are at risk due to speaking out against the invasion.
  • call on BCU to work with CARA, an NGO for academics at risk (
  • encourage UCU members to write to their MPs to call for the UK to provide safe passage for
    Ukrainian and other refugees
  • will circulate lists humanitarian organisations that are accepting donations:
  • urge universities not to penalise Russian students and members of staff
  • support independent media in Ukraine, to counter Russian propaganda and disinformation: for Kyiv
    Independent, see
  • oppose censorship of Russian content due to concerns that this will have implications for freedom
    of the press elsewhere.


Finally, which may be of interest to delegates, there is an ongoing CWU fundraiser to support refugees of the conflict currently situated in Poland. If you wish, you may donate at this link: