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Work.ua CEO: 1.5 years enough time for brands to exit Russia – now we cut ties

Work.ua, Ukraine’s top job portal, says it will no longer cooperate with companies maintaining business ties in Russia – even big names like Metro and Philip Morris. Its CEO has issued a manifesto for others to follow suit.
Belgrade, Serbia – June 6, 2018: Big Metro Cash and Carry Shopping Center in Belgrade, Serbia.
Work.ua CEO: 1.5 years enough time for brands to exit Russia – now we cut ties

Article by Arthur Mikhno, CEO and co-founder of Ukraine’s largest job portal work.ua

A year and a half of full-scale war in Ukraine demonstrated that many international companies still in the Russian market aren’t there due to inability or time constraints. They prioritize money over human lives. Therefore, they are not welcome in Ukraine.

Any business collaboration with Russia makes it stronger. The taxes paid by international companies in Russia fund the rockets aimed at destroying Ukrainian cities and their people.

Starting on 10 August 2023, Work.ua will cease its relationships and terminate all contracts with companies and brands that have not exited the Russian market. We also urge other businesses and individuals to join us in taking this step — abstain from interacting with these companies.

It’s simple. The money from these companies funnels into Russia’s development of rockets that aim to destroy Ukrainian cities and kill Ukrainian people.

As long as:

  • Unilever
  • Leroy Merlin
  • Raiffeisen Bank
  • METRO
  • LC Waikiki
  • КРКА
  • Berlin-Chemie
  • Nestle
  • OTP Bank
  • Mondelez
  • PepsiCo
  • Philip Morris
  • Syngenta
  • Procter & Gamble
  • FM Logistic
  • Yves Rocher
  • Beko
  • Auchan
  • Japan Tobacco International
  • Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

remain in Russia, we need to erase their presence from our lives.

work.ua business boycott companies still in Russia
Ukraine’s largest job search platform Work.ua will no longer cooperate with companies that still operate in Russia
Don’t buy from them, don’t provide services, don’t work for them, don’t partner with them. Reject any form of interaction with these brands and their representatives.

Work.ua is taking this step on 10 August 2023, and urges all businesses and individuals currently cooperating with these companies to submit resignation letters, terminate contracts, and suspend any interaction with them.

We are terminating contracts worth over $135,000. We are returning these funds to their owners and have no intention to be involved in the activities of these companies, both in Ukraine and worldwide.

“Ukrainians have two notable features —patience and courage. We have been patient for a long time. At first, we believed they would also leave Russia soon. Then, we thought they simply didn’t understand what was going on in Ukraine and that our top managers could explain and demonstrate Bucha and Mariupol, show them destroyed buildings and deaths… the consequences of these companies’ collaboration with our enemy.

But no. We couldn’t. The choice of these companies is to stand with our enemy. So be it. It’s time to show courage. A year and a half is a firm landmark. And if we choose a gift we can present ourselves as individuals and as a nation this Independence Day — it’s to sever all ties with these tainted brands and businesses that still operate in Russia.” 

Arthur Mikhno, co-founder and CEO of Work.ua

And what about the fact that they pay taxes and salaries to people in Ukraine?

They say they are beneficial to our economy and this argument has held for a long time. Perhaps it could have been tolerated in the first months of the war when the job market crashed, everything came to a halt, and each job supported ten people around it. We believed that either the war would end quickly, or these companies would eventually leave Russia.

But now, a year and a half later, we understand that they made their choice. Their owners and leaders have decided that it is okay for them to fund the killing of Ukrainians. It’s okay for them to collaborate with a country that threatens the world with war and death.

Therefore, Ukraine must prove that such companies have no future. By rejecting their activities, money, and taxes, we can show that there exist higher values than money. Human dignity cannot be bought with taxes and salaries. We show this to the world and prove it to ourselves again.

Collaboration with these companies will poison everyone for the rest of their lives.

There are moments when decisions need to be made. And this is one of those moments. A year and a half without exiting Russia has proven that these companies have no morality and no values. They are willing to cooperate with the enemy of the world, engage with a country that kills.

Every considerate person must realize this and make the choice to sever all ties with these companies. Otherwise, the mark of cowardice and lack of principles will stay with every top manager, every leader, and even ordinary workers for their lifetimes, affecting their future professional career.

When they look at themselves in the mirror, they will have to answer, “Whose side was I on during the war?”, “Who was I working for?”, “Why didn’t I have the courage to make the right choice?”

“Yes, of course, we know that many Ukrainian teams and top managers of these brands have done and are doing tremendous work to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces and Ukraine. This includes efforts to show the Ukrainian pain and the impropriety of collaboration with Russia to the attention of their European offices and their boards of directors. You have done so much. Everything you could. Thank you for that. But it must be acknowledged that they did not listen. For them, money is more important than rockets falling on the heads of your children. Therefore, it’s time for the next steps — to reject their tainted money and to write resignation letters.” 

Arthur Mikhno, co-founder and CEO of Work.ua.

The job market in Ukraine has recovered. You will definitely find work in the Ukrainian and international companies that don’t trade humanity for money and don’t operate in a country that brings death.

Each of us can holds the power to speeding up Ukraine’s victory

Remember these brands and remove them from your life. Explain to your friends, family, and colleagues why this is important. Use your social media platforms to call for halting any collaboration with these companies.

This is only the initial sanctions list. It is based on the data from:

This is only the first step. If you have verified information regarding companies that you’ve seen on Work.ua and their operations in Russia, please share this data with us. We will create further sanctions lists and terminate collaboration with such companies. Also, make sure that your partners and companies are not on these lists.

Victory is achieved not only on the battlefield. Victory is formed within each of us, through our values, virtues, and actions. Let’s show once again through our actions that human life, freedom, and dignity, not money, are the highest values. And the companies willing to support death for the sake of money should find no standing within our midst or on the global stage.

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