Call from UID-DER: For a Wider International Workers Solidarity!

Workers movement and unions are under severe repression in Turkey. Working conditions of the working class are deteriorating with each passing day, along with falling real wages and worsening living conditions. More than 2000 workers per year lose their lives in work accidents. And the economic crisis has aggravated all these things. In many workplaces compulsory unpaid leaves and layoffs have begun.

The regime in Turkey steps up repression in order to avert a revival of the workers movement standing up for workers rights. During the State of Emergency, strikes of hundreds of thousands of workers including metal workers were banned by government decrees. Although the State of Emergency was lifted on paper, it is still in place in reality. The regime attacks workers rights and strives to strangle the development of trade-union struggle. Recently, 25,000 workers working in building the third airport in Istanbul stopped work and stood up. That was because of terrible working conditions. But thousands of gendarmes and cops were mobilised by the regime to suppress the workers’ action and 25 workers were arrested. The regime did not stop there and later arrested another 6 workers and Özgür Karabulut, chairman of DİSK/Dev Yapı-İş, raising the total number of the arrested workers and union officials to 34.

Despite severe repression by the regime, workers do not shy away from getting unionised and demanding their rights. Cargill workers in Bursa, Flormar workers in Gebze, both working-class towns, are fighting for their rights. They share a common fate: being laid off on account of getting unionised. In Kocaeli/Gebze more than a hundred woman workers have been picketing in a resolved struggle in front of the Flormar (a French based company) factory despite many challenges including the police repression. And Cargill workers started a march from Bursa to Istanbul in recent days. On their way to Istanbul they met with picketing Flormar workers in Gebze which was a nice example of class solidarity. You can watch a video report of this meeting here: Also in Gebze, workers in BBS Metal mill have been sacked just because they unionised. They started picketing in front of the factory for reinstatement and recognition of the union. Another strike in Izmir, in which hundreds of Süperpak workers are involved, keeps on despite repression by any means.

As the Association of International Workers Solidarity (UID-DER), we support their struggle and try to widen workers solidarity ( ). For the success of workers, it is obvious that workers solidarity needs to be strengthened on an international level as well. If you show your solidarity by sending messages to them, construction workers of the Third Istanbul Airport, Flormar and Cargill workers, Süperpak workers and BBS workers will see that they are not alone, have their spirits lifted, and keep on their struggle in a more resolved way. Send your messages to us and we will immediately pass your solidarity messages to workers and unions. Let’s widen solidarity to make sure that workers win.

Long live international unity and struggle of the working class!

10 October 2018