The Tekel workers are stepping up their struggle with a hunger strike, but also raising the demand for a general strike. The desperate conditions of these workers is pushing them to he limit. They need the solidarity of workers from all countries. Send us your messages now!
In this message I would like to tell you a bit about the present situation with respect to Tekel workers resistance, and especially their hunger strike protest. As I have told you two days ago, Tekel workers have completed their 3-day sit down action and have passed to the next stage of their planned resistance, that is hunger strike. Before the hunger strike, all of the 12.000 workers had the desire and intention to go the 3-day long hunger strike but since they were living on the streets for over 30 days in freezing temperatures, the doctors warned the workers that it might be dangerous for all of them. So, they have decided to choose 150 people among them to start the hunger strike. The 150 volunteer workers were selected, wore their white shrouds ("kefen" in Turkish) symbolizing death and started their hunger strike in the meeting room of their trade union building in Ankara. They will take vitamin B and sugar water in order to prevent brain damage.
At the end of the first day of the hunger strike, two of the workers at the hunger strike decided to change their form of protest from 3-day hunger strike to a "Death Fast". Although the doctors warned these 2 workers about the possible horrible consequences of the death fast, the workers are very determined. They are shouting slogans: "We will die, but won't give up!"
The important element in this resistance is that the workers are demanding General Strike. 12.000 workers are shouting the one and only slogan: "General Strike, General Resistance!!"
Their confederations, up until this point, have not responded to this demand of general strike. Furthermore, general strike is forbidden by law according to the Turkish Constitution of 1982.
But the workers are very determined. One of the slogans they shout nowadays is: "The switch will be turned off, these things will be finished!" meaning that a general strike will topple down the government.
One worker, speaking yesterday at a TV programme, said the following words:
" I am speaking to the Prime Minister. I am looking directly to his eyes. We will be your nightmare. Don't forget my words Mr. Prime Minister. When our coffins get out of the trade union building, we will be your nightmare! "
The workers are very determined. Now it is time to show solidarity with them. Workers, students, intellectuals and friends of the Labour Movement all over the world, please show your solidarity with these brave Tekel workers and their heroic struggle against the forces of capitalism.