A number of militant workers from recent workers' struggles in Turkey, including National Tobacco and Alcohol Monopoly (TEKEL) workers, Istanbul Water and Sewers Department (ISKI) workers, firemen, Sinter metal workers, Esenyurt municipality workers, Marmaray building workers, dustmen, workers from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and workers from the ATV-Sabah News Corporation, have come together and established a workers' group called the Platform of Struggling Workers. A group of TEKEL workers themselves had been working towards setting up a committee in order to try to draw the lessons from the struggle that they were involved in and the Platform of Struggling Workers is an important step in their efforts towards making links with other workers, particularly those fighting against the recently introduced 4-C terms and conditions, which are basically a generalized attack on all public sector workers, cutting wages, allowing workers to be transferred, compelling unpaid overtime, giving the management the right to temporarily lay off workers, and allowing arbitrary sackings.
They are appealing for money to help in this struggle. We want to stress that they are not asking for money to feed themselves during a strike. Although this type of solidarity can be important, very often it never gets to the actual strikers involved, and even if it does, it can do little to alleviate suffering amongst the tens of thousands of families affected by a big strike. What they are asking for is money to enable them to organize activities necessary for the struggle. Turkey is a very big country (traveling across it is like traveling from London to Warsaw), and TEKEL, for example, is a company with workers all across the country. Traveling to meetings costs money as does organizing things such as leafleting, fly-postering, and public meetings, and money is something which workers after a long struggle in one of the poorest countries in Europe lack.
Don't be put off if you can't afford much. Remember that Turkey is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and that even a little money can go a long way, for example the price of a packet of cigarettes and a beer in Europe can be enough to send a worker to a meeting in another city.
You can click on the link below and use the Paypal button at the side of the web site to send money directly to the Platform of Struggling Workers: http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2010/05/tekel-appeal
To learn more about the Tekel workers' struggle: http://en.internationalism.org/taxonomy/term/872