The Statement by UID-DER on its New Campaign:
Workers, brothers and sisters!
We are workers, working day and night with elbow grease, producing the whole wealth. Everything stands on our own hands.
We are the ones raising those skyscrapers high, opening tunnels, and digging the bosom of coal mines. Just imagine what would happen when all workers stop working for one day!
And we are the same ones who are left with living in poverty despite labouring so much and exhausting our lives. Why is this so?
7 million workers live on minimum wage in Turkey. And there are other millions living on just a little above the minimum wage.
Why are the workers bringing the whole life into existence are made to work on a minimum wage or just a little above it?
More than 10 million workers have no social insurance. Why?
Not only our wages are low, but work hours are very long and working conditions are appalling. In many workplaces the working day has actually been lengthened to 12, even to 14, hours. Every single one of us does the job of two or three persons.
We are made to work at weekends as well. Lunch breaks and tea breaks are not counted within work hours.
Why are work hours so long? Are not we humans? Do not workers have the right to rest more, see their families, spend time with their loved ones, and socialise? Are we machines?
In the old times slave owners did not regard their slaves as humans and called them “speaking machine.”
And the bosses who we have become rich and lived in luxury on our backs do not behave differently. In their eyes we, the workers, are creatures not to be attached much importance. For example, the fact that more than 150 workers a month are killed in work accidents is just an insignificant detail for the bosses.
What is important for the bosses is to produce more, exploit the worker to the end and increase the profits. And this ambition for profit, their greed, takes priority.
Outsourcing is one of the methods employed by owners of capital to lower wages, lengthen working hours, make full-time regular work history and wipe social benefits out.
The system of outsourcing is spreading like a plague.
Outsourcing has become widespread with a vengeance during the period of AKP government. In 2002 when the AKP came to power the number of outsourced workers was around 400.000. Now this number has risen to 2.5 million.
The AKP has amended the Labour Act according to the bosses’ taste and made a host of “flexible employment” forms legal, including outsourced working. This way they set free all forms of insecure, irregular and short-term work.
In the past, workers in Turkey had their organisations, and the bosses did not dare to introduce practices such as outsourcing.
But when the unity and organisation of workers were weakened, then the governments and bosses started to attack workers’ rights, and introduce the system of outsourcing. They lowered the wages, eliminated regular work and social rights, and lengthened work hours.
Elimination of regular work has inflicted a heavy blow to unions as well.
Outsourcing is a very advantageous system for the bosses. Passing the job to sub-contractors, main employers save themselves from all responsibilities. Consider huge construction companies. They divide the work into parts and pass them to sub-contractors, and when workers are killed in work accidents they simply evade responsibility.
Owners of outsourced companies, who seek to become rich hastily, cut all costs, do not take work safety measures, lower wages and lengthen work hours.
Lack of work safety precautions causes work accidents and deaths that we call “work murders”. It is not an accident that there are more deaths at outsourced workplaces.
Outsourcing has a deep impact on all workers. Since outsourcing has become widespread it has had an effect on the labourforce market and generally lowered wages, lengthened work hours, eliminated regular work and social rights. Reduced wages forces us to do overtime work. So, outsourcing is an enemy of all workers.
We, the workers, are becoming slaves while the bosses’ capital is growing through outsourcing. We are not obliged to succumb to such working conditions that are at the level of slavery.
Our fighting organisation, UID-DER, tries to unite workers on their own interests and raises the slogan: “Stop low wages! Stop long work hours! Stop outsourcing!”
No bosses can resist workers united and fighting for their rights. Workers united are at ease and hold their heads high. This was so in the past and is so now.
Let’s come together and give strength to our campaign, get organised and call out the demands: “Stop low wages! Stop long work hours! Stop outsourcing!”
Outsourcing means work accidents and death! Stop outsourcing!
Increase wages, lower work hours! Jobs for all!
Increase not overtime but wages!
Job security for all workers!
Include all meal and tea breaks in working time!
Lift all obstacles to getting unionised!