Union Phobia and Strike Bans cannot Stop Workers!

The capitalist system which survives on the exploitation of workers is in crisis. Well-known global giant holdings and banks are going bankrupt, national budgets are going bust as in Greece. The economic crisis is accompanied by a political crisis. Now bosses and governments, as mouthpieces of them, cannot rule labourers as in the past since workers reject paying the bill of the crisis. They are raising their voices by strikes and mass meetings.

While the earth is being shaken by the waves of the crisis, the Turkish bosses are boasting about growth rates. The government of AKP says “We are a great country, a great actor in the world politics, we will not fall into the plight of Greece.”

It is true that Turkey is among the least effected countries from the crisis and for now the economy is growing. That is to say, the profit of the bosses is going on increasing.

But the AKP government and the bosses do not tell at what cost this has been achieved.

Workers, who work hard day and night, produce and expand the capital of the bosses, are suffering in poverty. They do not take the least bit share from the growth of the economy. For example, with the wage rise fixed for the minimum wage in this July, we will be able to spend a more 60 penny per meal!

While wages remain unchanged, price hikes on foods, utilities, public transport, house rents, schools and health service keep coming.

On the other hand, with the overtime work which is made practically compulsory, the working day has practically become no less than 12 hours. Workers have become indifferent from machines.

Working tempo is being continuously stepped up by various methods. To stop, to rest, to take a breath are all forbidden for workers. No social life for them. They cannot even take their annual leaves. While they swelter in 40 degrees temperature in summer, bosses and their families have their holidays as they like.

Work accidents, deaths and injuries are going on. All of these conditions wear workers out and squeeze them almost to death in a short time.

But the bosses and the government are not satisfied with these. They want to usurp the severance pay of workers, to spread the system of contracting-out more. That is, they just want to lower the labour cost and to increase the bosses’ profits as much as possible.

Isn’t it clear now how the economy and bosses’ capital grow?

But now workers are starting to raise their voices against these slavery conditions in a lot of workplaces. Workers who rebel against low wages, long working hours and unbearable working conditions, are starting to come together and unionize.

Individually workers have no power against bosses.

Unions which were built for furthering workers’ economic, social and democratic rights, serve to unite workers as a force against bosses. That’s why, the unions which reflect workers’ organized power are very important.

Bosses try to keep workers off unions by every means to prevent them from uniting. For instance, workers in the same workplace are divided into tens of different companies on paper by the system of subcontracting and forced to sign short-term contracts instead of regular long-term contracts, thus making unionization more difficult.

Moreover, there are many other methods implemented by bosses who seek to divide workers.

Bosses and their political agents are trying to set worker against worker, keep them disorganized and powerless by dividing them as blue and white collar workers, as Turks and Kurds, Alevis and Sunnites.

But all of these operate only to a certain extent. After a certain point they do not operate and prove useless to prevent workers from seeking their rights and unionizing.

In such a case, the bosses immediately choose to sack workers. So they mean to punish workers and tame them by condemning them to joblessness and starvation.

If we sum up the bosses’ attitude: Impatience and hostility!

Yet unionization is a constitutional right for workers. But unless workers unite, legal rights would only remain on paper, and they do so.

In fact bosses hate workers being organised; they are deadly fearful of workers being an organized power. They bear a grudge against the workers who do not subserviently choose to go back their homes after being sacked and resist. They make every effort to break the struggle. The Police take workers into custody, harass them and want to keep them away from the resistance area.

Because, when the unionizing workers win, this means other workers will also move on to organise and oppose low wages, long working hours and unbearable working conditions too.

Bosses do not want any barrier being erected in front of them. What they want is to make workers work as they like and exploit them without any limit.

The strike bans that were introduced in recent days are part of this. But whatever bosses do, they will not be able to prevent workers from uniting. The effects of the economic crisis will make themselves felt more in Turkey too and then workers who have had already enough will raise their voices in a stronger way.

For this reason, the bosses are preparing for coming days. As they know they cannot prevent workers from uniting, they seek to ban striking. The AKP government which runs to the help of bosses arbitrarily banned striking in aviation sector; and now it wants to ban striking in the stock market. Also, by a new draft bill on trade-unions and collective bargaining procedures, they seek to expand the scope of the strike ban to include some other industries. So they seek to make workers bow down before their impositions and prevent workers from utilising their right to strike, that is, to employ their power coming from production, even if they are unionised.

But this desire will also stick in the bosses’ gizzard. Workers who really become organized will tear up the strike ban.

In order workers to organise and oppose bosses in a powerful way, there are huge tasks to be undertaken by unions. They can change the situation if they engage in an extensive, planned and simultaneous organization, support workers in their struggles and mount the struggle. Then the bosses and the government cannot act in such a daring manner.

All around the world workers are fighting against injustices and exploitation. The voice of workers is getting stronger against capitalism and exploitation. The workers in Turkey will march after its Greek, American, Spanish, Indian, Bangladeshi class brothers/sisters and the bosses will never be able to stop this march.

15 July 2012