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Stop strike bans! Stop repressing trade-union activity!

Aviation workers are not alone!

Under increasing pressure of global crisis of capitalism and imperialist war bourgeois governments are stepping up the assault on the working class across the world to seize the rights of the working class won by hard struggles. Although the toiling classes began to resist these attacks and unemployment and poverty, the bourgeois governments keep on attacking. The governments also put nationalism and chauvinism in use alongside these attacks.

In Turkey, too, which is shown as example to those capitalist countries whose growth rates are miserable, the AKP government knows no bounds in attacking the rights of workers. The most recent attack has been the law which bans strikes in aviation industry. The AKP was reckless enough in passing the bill at one night from parliament. They did this in the middle of a prolonged process of collective bargaining in civil aviation with the biggest airline company, i.e. Turkish Airlines. The company is a state-owned company and the government is directly involved in the negotiations. The negotiations have been in a state of stalemate for more than one year due to the company’s persistent attempts at enforcing harder work conditions.

It is clear that the government seeks by this move to force the workers into a state of helplessness and make them surrender in the face of bosses in general. This move is a downright assault against the nature of the right to strike which is one of the most basic rights of workers. Many workers have now been sacked without compensation on the pretext that they have taken part in the brief unofficial strike on 29 May against the bill before it passed. These moves on the part of the company and the government aim at intimidating the workers in general. They want to create a free hand especially in aviation and wipe off the trade-union, Hava-İş. It is clear that now they will try to enforce worse working conditions and wages.

In defence of the strike ban by law in aviation prime-minister Erdoğan said “there cannot be strike in a strategic industry”. In fact strike action is forbidden by law for many industries. Now aviation has been added to these industries. There are many other obstacles to the implementation of the right to strike. For instance the government has the right to “postpone” any strike action in any industry by any pretext such as national security, general health, or “lack of good intention”. Also the government has got new plans in its agenda (a new bill on collective bargaining) to set up new obstacles on strike action.

Anti-democratic practices of bosses and the government will continue in the period ahead unless a struggle against strike bans and repression of trade-union activity is escalated. There are huge tasks to be fulfilled by the trade-unions to overcome strike bans and stop repression of trade-union activity creating more freedom for workers’ struggles. There must be a general struggle against anti-democratic laws and practices and usurping of workers rights. Now the civil aviation workers must not be left alone and solidarity with Hava-İş must be strengthened. History of the working class of Turkey shows that bans and anti-democratic practices can only be overcome by downright struggle. The great working-class revolt of 15-16 June 1970 in Turkey is a good example to remember.

These attacks in aviation are not just happening in Turkey. Similar ones are on the agenda in many countries across the world. It is very important to act in a united way and internationally as in other industries to push back these attacks. A united struggle must be waged with the spirit of international solidarity of the working class.

Let’s not remain silent against the strike ban and repression of trade-union activity and strengthen the solidarity with Hava-İş and the sacked workers in Turkish Airlines.

Lift all bans and restrictions on trade-union activity!
Stop the ban on strikes!
Unlimited freedom of strike, press, association and organisation!
Reinstate the sacked aviation workers!

In order to help the struggle of Hava-İş and the sacked workers, please send the following message by filling in the form and pressing “Send” button.


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