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Why Is International Solidarity of Workers Important?

Since the beginning of capitalist class’ rule over the world, production has become more and more international with time. Always having the aim of expanding their markets and the desire for new profits, capitalists never refrained from settling even in most remote parts of the world. When we look around we see that from oil companies and car factories to retailer and clothing brands, many companies in our industry zones belong to global monopolies. As we all know, the production has gained an international character and there would be no step back from this point. Even the simplest goods are produced by workers from various countries today. Hundreds of thousands of workers from tens of countries are working for the monopolies such as UPS, Ford, Mercedes, IBM, Coca Cola, Shell, Toyota, Arçelik, General Motors, AEG.

Since it is these giant monopolies which control most of the production across the world, the struggle and organization of the working class must take aim at them and bear an international character. Going beyond borders is an imperative result for working class struggle and organization, springing from capital getting more international and monopolistic. This aspect of the struggle cannot be seen as secondary because of the excuses made up by union bureaucrats such as “insufficient possibilities”, “very difficult”, “impossible”. Giant monopolies exploit us everywhere in the world regardless of our nation, colour, language, race, religion or language. As part of the world working class, we cannot be indifferent to the joint organisation and struggle against this exploitation. The only way to protect our jobs and rights against capitalists’ attacks is to organise on an international basis, to raise the international struggle and to be in a shoulder-to-shoulder solidarity with the workers of the world.

Many strikes and actions in Turkey have been scene for international solidarity lately. This actions and organising efforts against local and international companies such as Novamed, Sinter, E-Kart, Desa, Tekel, Rimaks and UPS went beyond the national boundaries and captured the attention of the workers around the world. Simultaneous public statements, work stoppages, marches and other actions organised by unions on an international level helped the fighting workers think that: “our interests are common with the workers of the world”, “victory requires a strong international solidarity”. The last example came from the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) which announced the 1st and 15th September as the global day of action and called on the unions and workers of 154 countries for common action and solidarity with the UPS workers in Turkey. Tough not as it should be, the workers’ confidence and power will go up whereas it will make the defeats of the bosses easier as this kind of actions become prevalent. The task of the conscious workers is to strengthen such international campaigns, actions and strikes.

Working and living conditions of workers are getting worse all over the world. Regardless of the name of the country, giant monopolies put pressure on governments and prevent workers from unionizing, decrease wages, fire thousands of workers, implement flexible working and sub-contracting and even assassinate militant unionists. Using the economic crisis as an excuse, capitalist class attacks more and more against the rights and unionizing activities of workers. For instance, in European countries, unemployment grows, the age of retirement raises and the social gains are undermined. Now it requires more international struggles to counter these attacks.

Let us remember that a series of struggles including the struggle for “eight-hour day”, the struggle of women workers’ for equal pay, the achievement of many trade-union rights, all were won through international struggles. Today workers in Turkey, USA, Greece, China, South Africa, New Zealand, and other parts of the world, can only impose their demands onto bloodsucking capitalists with a united cross-border struggle. Giant monopolies exploit the world working class like an octopus wrapping its prey with its arms. To break this chain of exploitation we have to organise together and strengthen our fight both on a national and international level.

Since it was founded UID-DER has been emphasizing the international solidarity of the working class and placing a special importance to organising workers in this spirit. It calls on the working class and unions to organise on this basis. Today, international solidarity and struggle of the working class is not only important because of economic issues. What makes it more crucial is its central role to stop unjust wars, reject the bill for the crisis and prevent environmental catastrophes. The working class is an international class and its struggle must be an international struggle.

15 October 2010