To support the TEKEL tobacco and food workers struggle against privatizations, contracting and roll backs, 6 labor confederations started a joint general strike in Turkey. The confederations announced they are exercising their “right not to work” as the basis of their action.
Entire country is behind the struggling workers because everyone is under attack from neo liberal, free market policies of the Islamic, pro-US government implementing the IMF and World Bank mandates. Other sectors in Turkey such as students, youth and professional associations are also supporting the strike and are on the streets.
Transportation comes to a halt in Izmir
The third largest city in Turkey came to a halt today as all public workers participated in the action against imperialist mandates to economy in Turkey. The buses and other public transportation systems have completely stopped in Izmir.
Police attacks workers
Workers marching in Unkapi district in Istanbul were attacked by the police, currently, the police and the workers are on a stand-off.
Police attack workers in Denizli
The group supporting the TEKEL workers marching towards the Denizli headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) was attacked by the police. There was a clash between the workers and the police.
Private company TURYOL assumes the police role!
TURYOL is a ferry operating private company. When the workers gathered to board the ferry, the company officials announced that they were ordered by the Turkish Police not to allow the demonstrators on board.” The government is trying to prevent the massive demonstration across the country by either attacking or trying to isolate the participants.
Istanbul – Anatolian (Eastern) district
The member workers of DISK, the Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions and KESK, the Confederation of Public Workers’ Union gathered at 4 central locations and held a press conference.
On the other hand, the health care workers of Healthcare Labor Union and Progressive Health Care Workers Union, Dev Saglik-Is, gathered in front of 4 hospitals staged a mass press release.
Istanbul European (Western) district
Workers are marching from two directions to Sarachane and currently there are reports that they have reached and are filling the plaza. There are already more than 10,000 demonstrators in Sarachane.
Workers are approaching the demonstration location Ziya Gokalp from several different locations. There was a huge protest when Memur-Sen, a government office worker union and Hak-Is, an Islamic confederation controlled and close to government announced they would not participate in the action. This union and confederation had previously participated in the negotiations and agreed on the general strike. This morning they announced they had reversed themselves (most probably with back door negotiations with the government) and decided not to participate. Workers booed and protested this reversal.
Police tried preventing the People’s Houses members enforcing their right to free transportation to get to the downtown demonstration. However, police was proved helpless in trying to stop the people from reaching the demonstration.
Retired Workers Union on hunger strike
The mine workers of Zonguldak, turkey’s largest coal mining zone have stopped work to support their TEKEL brothers and sisters. 500 workers who first staged a sit-in in front of mining management offices later marched to downtown Zonguldak.
On the other hand, miners in more than 5 different mining zones around Zonguldak also
Staged a strike. In these mines the workers also gathered on front of the management buildings. Union officials then read the announcements condemning the government policies, attack on the workers and violence against TEKEL workers.
Workers burn the effigy of Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister in Samsun
In the northern city of Samsun demonstrators, more than 600, gathered at the Republic Square and burned the effigy of Erdogan, the Islamic, free market champion Prime Minister. The effigy had a sign that read, “the screams of workers and the poor will blacken out the Justice Development Party.”
Rize, Pazar Caykur tea workers are in line
In the town of Pazar of Rize, a north eastern city known for its tea production, people participated in a demonstration in front of the JDP building and protested the government and its free market policies. The members of People’s Houses, Young Hope, Liberation and Democracy Party, Republican People’s Party, and the food workers union Tek Gida-Is led the demonstration and called for all to join and support the TEKEL workers. They announced that the tea workers will face similar issues as the TEKEL workers when the new legislation passes that holds huge rollbacks for the tea workers.
Hopa, TEKEL and Tea workers hand in hand!
In this border town in north east Teachers from Egitim Sen, public workers from Belediye-Is union, and Tum Bel-Sen and the Liberation and Democracy Party held a rally and a march to the ruling party’s offices and left a black wreath, protesting their neo liberal policies and attacks against the people and the workers. Other demonstrations are being organized to support the TEKEL workers this weekend by the leading organizations. Tea workers will be sending dried out tea leaves to the TEKEL workers to support their struggle.
Compiled by Sendika.org
More updates to come…