Turkey: Solidarity with heroic struggle of TEKEL workers!

Joe Higgins MEP supports struggle in European parliament


The ongoing struggle of the TEKEL workers continues to build momentum. Today (4 February), a general strike is taking place in Turkey, in response to the TEKEL struggle and the intense pressure exerted from below upon the trade union leadership by the militancy and determination of the struggle. Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) MEP, Joe Higgins raised the issue in the European parliament last week, in solidarity with the TEKEL workers. See the video, and correspondence between Joe and a trade unionist involved in the TEKEL struggle below.


Solidarity with heroic struggle of TEKEL workers!

Dear Burcu Ayan,

Thank you for your response. I hope your struggle is going well. Last week to try to help your cause in a small way, I raised the issue of the Tekel workers in a Committee meeting of the European Parliament. My short speech is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzjHiRaKFzo.

I also thought you and your fellow workers might be interested in watching a DVD we produced after the Gama strike about the course of that dispute and the lessons we drew from it. This is the link to the online version of it http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8522850390691204183&ei=EKNpS-XLBIWr-AbLv933Aw&q=gama+strike. I will also send you a copy of it on DVD if you let me know your postal address.

Let me know if I can be of any further help. We are eager to keep in touch and provide solidarity for you.

Yours in solidarity,

Joe Higgins

Member of the European Parliament

Socialist Party (Ireland)

Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI)

Dear Brother Joe,

Thank you very much for your support and solidarity message.

I hope the government and especially the Prime Minister will hear not only the voices of Tekel workers but also the voice of Europe to support us.

I will inform the management about your letter and upload it to our web-site. We wish that together with the pressure organized locally and internationally against AKP,the party on power, the demonstrations will result with positive solutions for Tekel workers.

Below you can find the latest news about the demonstrations;



I will keep on informing you regarding the developments in Turkey.

Kind regards,

Burcu Ayan

Tekgida Is trade union

International Relations Coordinator

Dear friends,

I write to express my solidarity and that of the Socialist Party (Ireland) and the Committee for a Workers’ International (www.socialistworld.net) with the strike of TEKEL workers in Turkey.

I had the honour of campaigning alongside your fellow Turkish workers in Ireland who were massively and illegally exploited by Gama Construction. Their strike won tens of millions of euro in backpay and was an inspiration to Irish workers and socialists.

The privatisation and shutting of your factories is an attack on working class people. The government’s offer to you, which gives you a choice of no job or work for less than a year in another state institution for lower wages and conditions, is an insult.

You are right to fight against these redundancies and to oppose the privatisation of these massive enterprises. Privatisation, as you have experienced, results in private profits being put before the interests of working people.

I salute your bravery in standing up against the brutality of the state in the course of your struggle. I understand that riot police have attacked you and have arrested some of you. I will use my position to publicise these outrageous attacks on workers’ rights and to encourage people to support you.

I urge you to continue your struggle and to link up with other workers who are also under attack from the government, such as the firemen and railway workers, and to build a united struggle against these privatisations and attacks on workers’ rights.

Through international solidarity, we will try to actively support your campaign and bring pressure to bear on the government. Please let me know of any way I can assist you.

Yours in solidarity,

Joe Higgins

Member of the European Parliament

Socialist Party (Ireland)

Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI)

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February 2010

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