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What structure of quasi-class society is now taking shape in Ukraine?

Author : Oleksiy Kushch

Source : 112 Ukraine

The informally employed population over the age of 15 in Ukraine in January-June of this year amounted to more than 3 million people, or 19.5% of the total number of employed
22:50, 8 November 2021

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In 2021, the largest outflow of personnel fell on industry: minus 40.7 thousand people, while an additional 50.4 thousand people joined agriculture sphere, which was partially dictated by seasonal factors.

At the same time, seasonality cannot explain the reduction in personnel in trade (minus 22.1 thousand people), in transport and logistics (minus 15 thousand people), medicine (minus 23.2 thousand people).

These data indicate the continuing destruction of the industrial core and the shrinking of the old working class, as well as the washing out of professionals (doctors, transport workers, etc.).

At the same time, some professionals migrate to other countries, while others are moving into the format of a part-time employment and unstable earnings from time to time.

Let me remind you that the precariat is a social group that has dropped out of full-time employment, without long-term specialization, with uncertain earnings and without social protection mechanisms.

The informally employed population over the age of 15 in Ukraine in January-June of this year amounted to more than 3 million people, or 19.5% of the total number of employed.

Moreover, more than 68% of them were self-employed, that is, they were deprived of even minimal social protection tools.

Of the 17 million economically active citizens, we have only 7 million so-called staff members protected by labor legislation (the size of the minimum wage, the procedure for dismissal, the duration of vacation and sick leave payments, etc.), or just over 40% of the economically active population of the country.

In this case, can the remaining 60% be considered a precariat? To some extent, yes.

Even if we are talking about microentrepreneurship, in the realities of Ukraine, many of the sole proprietors are typical precarians, since doing business is not their vocation, but only a way to survive.

These microentrepreneurs are interrupted by random orders and often change specialization.

Moreover, even a part of the "professionals" who travel abroad are also a precariat, since a significant part of them work without a reliable social package and are almost completely unprotected in terms of ensuring labor rights.

Related: Zelensky signs law on National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine

And it can be our pilots flying in Africa in a transport junk, and engineers in Asia and Latin America, and workers at a Polish plant, who are sent to be treated "in the park" instead of a hospital or who are "forgotten" to provide financial assistance in case of industrial injuries. ...

The domination of the precariat in our country is also evidenced by the distribution of the population by the level of per capita income.

These data indicate a catastrophic level of poverty in Ukraine, when survival is ensured within the family, as in tribal societies.

In terms of income (labor poverty), the precariat segment in Ukraine can be estimated at 85%, and in terms of labor protection - at 60%.

This is the most numerous class with no guarantees of long-term employment and stable earnings, and is in a state of labor poverty in terms of income.

This is a social group that periodically plunges into a state of apathy and psychological frustration. Being the most numerous, this stratum controls the minimum of the country's economic assets.

On the other hand, we also have a dynamic class in the form of entrepreneurship, bureaucracy and professionals.

But only the latter are the drivers of internal development, and then only partially.

The first two groups (apart from the creative sub-segment) represent two extreme antagonistic strata of society: the economy of "small shopkeepers" (mentally, not in the essence of business) and the administrative-political superstructure.

Each of these groups views the country as an economic ring and resource, for which they periodically involve the informationally disoriented precariat in their showdowns with each other, presenting them with a carrot in the form of chances of entering the middle class.

This leads to the emergence of the so-called new tribalism, when society loses its sense of solidarity and splits into irrationally formed groups with basic reflection as a marker of belonging (like fragments of a broken mirror).

This is a society in which the hegemon class does not have the strength to drive development, and the beneficiary class does not see for itself the slightest sense in such a general development of the country...

The current structure of society is not the fault of the current government. But the responsibility of Zelensky politicians is that they exploit cynically as much as possible, on the one hand, the factor of the split in society, and on the other, its hidden craving for lost solidarity...

Related: Protests of anti-vaccinators in Ukraine. Why don't people want to get vaccinated?

 

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