No Trust in System Parties, Go for the Unity of Workers!

Workers’ life is hard and painful.

The struggle to survive, to earn their own life and to look after their families makes life for workers unbearable. Pain, anxiety and exhaustion become an inseparable part of workers’ life.

Could the life of workers who try to afford their needs with a minimum wage and the life of well-off rich people be equal?

Could the mood of workers who are forced to spend almost all their time in overtime work just earn a few pennies more and of those rich who do not know what poverty and want are be the same?

While workers are deprived of even seeing their spouses and children because of almost incessant work day and night, the class of riches enjoys their life in excessive wealth.

Once, one of the leaders of the working class said: the people who live in hut think different from the people who live in palace!

Could the interests of the well-off who exploit workers and enjoy wealth be the same with workers who struggle with poverty? Can these two different classes see the world in same colours?

The interests of workers and bosses are different from each other; workers’ and bosses’ lives are not alike; bosses’ and workers’ their ways of viewing the world are different.

This is real as cold as ice!

But workers are not aware of this reality. Why? 

This is because workers are not united and organized as a class yet. 

This situation plays into the hands of the politicians who are for maintaining the system of bosses in constant search of profits. And this causes workers to be divided in many ways and prevents them from coming together for their rights.  

For example, the polarization of rulers among themselves in the political arena creates artificial polarisation among the working class.

Whose interests the regime parties such as AKP, CHP and MHP that artificially polarise society actually serve to?

Are the workers’ lives the same as the lives of the leaders of these parties and deputies who are mostly bosses?

The truth is that all these parties represent the well-off. All of them defend the system of profit of the bosses. Every worker should clearly know that.

If a party does not come against exploitation and humiliation of workers, lengthening of working hours, death and injury of workers in work accidents, miserable wages, contracting out and flexible work, it means that it actually defends the bosses’ interests.

There is the AKP on one side and CHP and MHP on the other side: Society is divided into camps on the basis of interests of rulers, which causes artificial polarisation serving to obscure real problems.

AKP is establishing a regime which gradually increases oppression and practices of police state. The police use baton and tear gas against the people who claim their rights.

The police have been exerting an immeasurable terror to crush the protests which began against the attempt to build Topçu Kışlası (the old military barracks) in Gezi Park. Prime Minister Erdoğan insulted the people who claim their democratic rights by identifying them “çapulcu” (bandit).

Because of the social polarisation, while one section of the public is outraged by this insult the other section is pushed to back it even though they are not willing very much. 

By abusing the present social polarisation, the AKP and Erdoğan are pushing to legitimise their attitude of bullying “my way or the high way”.

Feeding on this polarisation the CHP is aiming to channel the people who are outraged against the AKP.

The fascist party (MHP) is also seeking favour from this polarisation by opposing a solution to the Kurdish question in an attempt to provoke nationalism.

This polarisation is illusive and artificial. This polarisation turns workers blind. This polarisation prevents workers from getting united to solve their problems.

However the interests of all workers, regardless of who they are, religious or secular, Alawite or Sunni, Kurd or Turk, wearing headscarf or not, are common; workers are class brothers and sisters and they have no problem with each other.

We need a different polarisation: bosses and the parties which defend their system of profit on one pole, and workers and workers’ organisations which defend workers’ interests on the other.

Workers should neither follow the AKP nor CHP nor MHP. There are no favours to come from these parties of system. Their mission is to make the bosses richer.

In one of his speeches about Gezi protests, Erdoğan conceded this truth: “those who got rich fivefold during our government now turn against us.”

Yes, it is the AKP government which has been attacking the rights of workers and realising the aspirations of bosses over the last ten years. While workers live in misery, bosses keep filling their pockets.

The living conditions of workers have become more difficult.

Retirement age is raised to 65, working hours lengthened, working tempo speeded up, subcontracting system expanded, and purchasing power of workers decreased, bonuses and other side payments largely taken back. About a hundred workers a month lose their lives and hundreds of them are injured just because adequate work safety precautions are not to taken.  

Instead of doing necessary inspections and preventing the work accidents, the AKP government evades the problem by outrageously calling these deaths “destiny” thus abusing sensitive religious beliefs of workers.

AKP government has been trying to eliminate the right of severance payment, to expand the subcontracting system, to legitimate the private employment offices (slave offices). Their aim is to make labour power as cheap as possible and make the bosses richer and richer. And, do the other regime parties and those well-off sections of society care and rage against these problems?

The AKP is puling vote by exploiting the despair of the people. It provides some basic public services better than the past ruling class parties and keeps pompously advertising these services. They especially exploit the feelings of pious people and unashamedly try to pose themselves as part of the toiling people. 

Sisters and brothers, let’s wake up to these tricks!

We know that you are angry with your living conditions. You express your discontent by various means. Your curses, your swearing are expressions of your discontent. But to be discontent is not enough! We must be conscious and organized.

Do not fall into the trap of artificial polarization! Regardless of belief, language, dress, we are the working class; we are all brothers/sisters exploited, oppressed and humiliated by bosses. In workplaces we work shoulder to shoulder, eat together and share the same living conditions.

Let’s say “enough is enough!”

Do not forget that it is the unity of workers that can end the artificial polarisation in society!

Come together on the basis of the unity and interests of workers through waging a struggle to overcome the artificial polarisation which is created by the regime parties!

Translated from İşçi Dayanışması (Workers Solidarity) 64, 16 June 2013

28 July 2013