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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2008
Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'
GREENWICH UNISON branch was recently visited by an international guest. Cem Dinc is the president of "Limter-Is", the harbour, shipyard, ship construction and repair workers' union of Turkey.
Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison
He was visiting to highlight the appalling number of injuries and deaths that take place in the industry in Turkey, particularly at Desan dockyard in Tuzla, where the union describes work accidents as a "massacre".
The union also says that, in Turkey as a whole, 1,000 workers die every year and 3,000 become disabled as a result of workplace accidents.
One of the areas with the highest number of accidents is the dockyards.
In Turkey there are 62 dockyards, four owned by the army, two by the state and the others are privatised. The dockers in Tuzla have been struggling against increasing accidents for many years.
This struggle became more intensified this year when on 27-28 February and on 16 June, dockyard workers went on strike and gained a huge echo across Turkey. The February strike stopped 60% of production and the June strike 70%.
The June strike united many sectors of society and a solidarity movement arose. Cem Dinc reported how many demands, such as a reduction in the working day, had been won as a result of the strikes, but there was still a long way to go. Cem also recognised that the current economic crisis would intensify the dockers' struggle.
But what must be realised is that this was a union leader prepared to make sacrifices. In June 2006, Cem was imprisoned by the state, at the behest of his bosses. As a result of protests, he was released within a month.
In September 2006, the Turkish state conducted a sweep, arresting left Limter-Is activists. Cem was arrested again and imprisoned for six months.
The action against Limter-Is follows the murder in March 1999 of Suleyman Yeter, a member of the union's executive, who died under torture.
The union is now asking for international support in its campaign for the dockers.
Messages of protest should be sent to: Cem Dinc, firstname.lastname@example.org More information on www.limteris.com
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In The Socialist 5 November 2008:
Striking against low pay
Obama wins, neo-cons routed in US presidential elections
George Bush's toxic legacy
If Obama wins - Looking beyond the hope bubble
Socialist Party campaigns
Labour bashes lone parents
Canary Wharf: Low paid workers welcome socialist campaigners
Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression
Marxist analysis: history
1918 revolution: When German workers entered the stage of history
New Labour retreats on promises to students
Victory over Tory school closure plan
Austria: Socialist players suspended from football club for anti-fascist activities
Year 9 SATs abolished: Now get rid of the rest!
Republic of Ireland: Student fightback
Socialist Party workplace news
Liverpool City Council: Housing maintenance workers fight for jobs
Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry
Shipyard strike for fair wage
Striking for trade union rights
Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'
The Socialist 5 November 2008 |
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