Wherever we go around the world, the problems of IT workers are the same. In fact, these problems don’t only affect IT workers. As of now, the problems of all different sectors of the working class are connected because we are all equally affected by low wages, severe working conditions, lack of job protection, flexible working hours and the subcontracting of our jobs. Moreover, organizers are threatened with retaliation for organizing on the job. To add insult to injury the boses use the economic crisis, that we did not create, as a argument for mass layoffs. We are constantly being subjected to undignified games played in the name of performance evaluation. Furthermore we not only face desolation, depression,distrust towards everything and everyone but also we face job sicknesses, even deaths due to the non-provision of job security.
In early months of 2012, because AT&T, one of the largest IT companies in the US, declined to meet the demands of the workers, the employees decided to go on strike again, after not striking for the past 5 years and therefore being forced to take many concessions. That the workers’ demands were quite modest and humane meant nothing to the bosses. Instead, we received this reply from the capitalists: We shall not
The 40 thousand AT&T workers wanted the following: not clear right to free healthcare and a living wage. In contrast to the strike at AT&T in 2007, all the workers of the company have united this time; from the engineers to the call-center employees and technical staff members. AT&T workers were organizing one rally after another in the streets of US. A banner carried in such a rally speaks volumes: “AT&T should know
that people have a value”. And indeed, the sole thing that will make them understand this is nothing less than the rightful and persistent struggle of the workers.
It recently, became known that the Japanese electronics giant Sony was preparing for a mass layoff. It was revealed that the 10 thousand workers, %6 of the world’s IT workers, will be fired by the end of the year. Sony workers are sending call after call to the world’s workers so that these layoffs can be stopped.
Both examples and tens of others indeed impact us directly. What happens in other countries and in other industries either here or abroad impact us directly because what happens there will happen here to us! Our wages, our rights our ability to hold on to our jobs are not determined in Turkey alone but are part of a worldwide attack on all workers. Corporations are multi-national crossing all borders, workers must organize across all borders as well. We are multi-national and therefore we can only win if we fight collectively and not succumb to nationalism and jingoism. In every country in the world, in every industry, production and workers are tied to one another.
We can foresee what will happen in the IT industry by just looking at what is going on at AT&T,Sony, HP and Nokia. They want to condense the production, deepen the exploitation and increase their profits by making fewer workers do more work. As the larger IT companies do their production in various places in the world (China, Korea, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan etc.) it is clear that the problem
surpasses national boundaries, and this is the starting point that ties workers directly to other workers that work in different countries. We, IT workers that work in Turkey are tied to the world production network and what is going on somewhere else directly
affects us here.
For this very reason,we have to consider that the problems that workers are suffering in other parts of the world are not their problems alone, but in fact are the problems that all workers everywhere share and therefore we all must, as one, collectively
embrace each other if we wish to solve these problems. If we see their problem as an external one, if we behave in a selfish, individualist and competitive way, assuming that ‘discretion is the better part of valor’ or even that ‘every dog will have its day’, will we wonder why that our working and living conditions become worse? In fact, would we
do what we are doing now, if we knew what will happen tomorrow? What will happen in Turkey can be seen by what is going on at AT&T,Sony, HP and Nokia. It is in our hands to reverse the situation. AT&T,Sony, HP and Nokia are telling us that we cannot ignore each other anymore. We have no other choice other than cooperating and trying to solve our problems, which means organizing and struggling. So, what do you say, shall we put an end to ignoring each other now?