Many fashion clothing stores, including Zara, Kelvin Klein, Tommy Hilfinger and LC make their products in Turkey. The economic crisis of 2008 continued to have an impact, as did the Covid 19 crisis, which renewed and strengthened the previous crisis. The capitalist governments sought solutions with incredible rapidity and in the name of the workers and at the expense of the toiling masses, they covered the employers. The Turkish government was in this category, and the capitalist employers of the fashion and clothing sector also took advantage and benefited from this loot. But what happened to the workers whose names had been misused. We consider, for example , the Samilglu garment factory.
West of Istanbul is a building block, factories buildings and an idustrial area. Every day thousands of workers come here early in the morning and return home that evening tired and helpless. The mentioned factory is also located here. The majority of the factory´s workers are female workers and often the family economy depends on their wages. A female worker tells that : One day in mid-March, I went to the factory to get my salary, that I was suddenly shocked, such as if there was no factory here at all. Our workshop hall was completely empty and a gye worker was painting. There were no machines or tools left. When the factory manager cam , told us that you will all be on unpaid compulsory leave until June. Shoch after shock ! Unpaid leave means going to the Labor Office and receiving a monthly equivalent of half the current minimum wage in Turkey, which is 140 euro. What should I do with this money ? The life of our family of five people depended on my salary because my husband´s wage was very low. EVen though we couldn´t live with the same wages as before either. Every time usually I was going to shopping I saw that the prices had rised up compared to the previous time, but wages remained the same. We found out that in the meantime of pandemic the employer was going to declare bankruptcy and closed the factory, but then he registered a new company in the same place named after his cousin and that´s why the hall of local was painted. Workers are informed that if they refuse to complain about conpensation and themselves to submit a written request for termination of service, in that case, they will be employed as workers in the new factory. In this way, the employer hits several targets with one shot. First, it doesn´t compensate workers, secondly, it will hire its former workers for much lower wages and, third, it finds the opportunity to expel the protesting active workers from the factory. Of course, the workers haven´t been silent, they´ve taken measures such as exposing about the employer and also gathering in front of the factory and the Labor Office. But unfortunately, like everywhere else, including Iran, they failed to win the solidarity of other workers and public support, but they still continue to fight.
The clothing sector is one of the most important economic sectors in Turkey, but with the spreading of the pandemic and the long-term closure of clothing stores in Europe, demand for commodities from turkish employers declined. As always, the capital owners and employers imposed the costs of a sluggish market on the shoulders of workers.
The Turkish government to prevent mass unemployment and rising rates, it banned it and started to help employers and capital owners. An example of this was the same payment of 140 euro ( mentioned before ) until the situation returns to normal. More than 4 million workers in Turkey are now in such situations (in other words 4 million households). Another part of the pressure on workers is corruption in Turkey, for example, with the outbreak of a pandemic, the Zara chain store paid local employers in Turkey as auxiliary vouchers for factories workers who produced for it, but the employers didn´t transfor the money to the workers´ accounts and took it for themselves. When the issue was exposed and Zara investigated, the workers were threatend with dismissal, and workers were forced to write that for each of these months they had received their share. Under pressure by workers´struggle, the Turkish government has announced that it will pay 60% of the wages of unemployed workers during pandemic era !! and the remaining 40% will be paid by the capitalists !! whatever happened in practice was that the government transferred 60% of the wages to the capitalists, and capital owners gave only 40% of that 60% to the workers.
“ Taken from a report in Deutschland Funk ”
Explanation by The anti-capitalist workers of Iran :
The tragedy isn´t only that the capitalist government lied and stole or the government didn´t help the workers and instead that transferred billions to the capitalists. The real catastrophe is the delusion of workers who think that the capitalist government and the capital owners are supposed to be other beings and do other things than that. The catastrophe is that the workers, instead of trying to assert their class existence as an organized council and anti-capitalist power, instead of exercising this class power against capital and imposing their demands on the capitalist class, are looking for a solution to their problems and improving of their livelihood by the capitalist savages and the capitalist state !