AFGE members from Tobyhanna Army Depot joined a group of union members led by the Union Veterans Council for a visit to the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, DC to show support for the people of Ukraine at the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of the country.
AFGE Local 1647 President Ned George, AFGE member Michael Lombardo, Tobyhanna Public Affairs Officer Ryan Beilman, and AFGE Chief of Staff Cory Bythrow were part of the delegation that met with Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova who gave the group an update on the situation in her war-torn country.
George drove five hours and was excited to meet the ambassador. He had reached out to his agency about the meeting. The Army Depot not only sent a representative to show support for the Ukrainians but also provided dozens of fire finder radars to help fight the war. They are older systems, but if they are damaged in the field, a team of Tobyhanna employees who are stationed in Poland can repair or remove them.
George said it’s very important to show support for the Ukrainians and spotlight the war and human rights violations.
“It was kind of a humbling event to sit there and listening to the ambassador speak and hearing about the plight of the country and the people and the genocide that’s going on over there,” the local president said. “For the atrocities and war crimes that are being committed, it makes me a little proud that we’re supporting our own war fighters every day but being able to support Ukrainians in their fight for democracy, you know, means something.”
Besides AFGE, the delegation included members from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), Iron Workers Union, International Association of Machinist & Aerospace Workers, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, American Federation of Teachers, Solidarity Center, and United Mine Workers of America.