Volvo Truck workers in Virginia, United States have been on strike since June 7. Their critical struggle in defiance of company and trade union is not being reported by the Turkish media, including pseudo-left press. However, workers and youth in Turkey are able to learn of the strike from the World Socialist Web Site. We publish below the messages we have received from workers and students in Turkey in support of the striking Volvo workers.
Public employees from Yalova
We, as public workers from Yalova, Turkey, salute the strike of the Volvo workers.
We believe that the increased attacks on the rights of the working class all over the world with the pandemic should be responded to with a common struggle globally. We can stop these attacks, which have expanded in individual countries, with the unity of class struggle we will establish.
As public employees in our country, we are also faced with similar attacks. Flexible working hours, insufficient wage increases in the face of growing poverty, the decline in our living standards and our condemnation to poverty are just some of them.
We have no choice but to unite and fight against the capitalist order and the ruling elites, which do not allow anyone else the right to live properly in the world. We consider this struggle that you have launched on another continent as our own struggle. Just because you are on another continent or in another country, does not mean you are far from us. We, as people of the same history and class, are very close to each other. Do not give up your fight until you get your rights.
It is these struggles that will bring the world and us back to life. Long live the global class struggle of the working class!
A worker from Bursa
Dear Volvo workers, as a fellow worker from Bursa, Turkey, I send my sincere messages of solidarity to your two-front war (against the UAW union and Volvo).
Your struggle is very instructive for workers in Turkey, the Middle East and all over the world, in terms of what the workers’ struggle is and against whom. The transformation of the unions and their emergence as an open enemy of the workers is particularly evident in your fight against the UAW union, which is at the service of the Volvo Trucks. The new organization for struggle you have established in the form of a rank-and-file committee and the perspective behind it also make clear the method of struggle that needs to be developed independently and in opposition to the unions.
In your statement, after you clearly exposed Volvo and UAW, you declared “The real struggle is just beginning.” Your struggle will be strengthened by our support and making it known around the world.
A worker from Istanbul
During the pandemic, ruling class policies that put profits before lives have killed millions all over the world. Implementation of these policies by the governments globally was only possible with the collaboration of the unions.
The decisive struggle of the Volvo workers not only against the company, but also against the union, shows all workers the way forward. However, one should not be overcome by inertia. The struggle of the Volvo workers will only succeed if it unites with its class brothers and sisters both in the US and internationally under a socialist perspective. As a supporter of International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees in Turkey, I support your struggle.
A teacher from Mersin
I am a math teacher who supports your strike. The struggle of the Volvo workers is a source of pride and lesson for the entire working class.
Workers in Turkey and around the world must be made aware of your struggle and mobilized to support you.
A student from Mersin
Volvo workers are fighting for their rights against the betrayal of the union bureaucracy. As always, the union bureaucracy is trying to crush the workers’ resistance, in order to defend the interests of the ruling class.
What is needed for the emancipation of the working class and youth is to organize under a leadership with a socialist program and to form rank-and-file committees all over the world. That means to join the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and to build International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees initiated by the ICFI. The only salvation of working class, including the Volvo workers, is here.
A student from Mersin
Close ranks, fellow workers! The blockades and sabotage you face are what workers around the globe are and will be confronting.
With UK Prime Minister Johnson calling for “bodies to pile up high in thousands,” with Sri Lankan workers facing criminalization for their right to strike, with Turkey opening schools just to prove it is “safe” for tourism, and with other countless horrors that cannot fit into a single message, it is essential for workers to run for each others’ case.
Your courage and dedication is already reverberating among workers. In recent days, there have been numerous support messages published on World Socialist Web Site.
Close ranks to be a model to all workers in every corner of the earth. Through class struggle, the working class will gain strength, and the case of Volvo workers is now the spearhead of the workers’ struggle internationally.
With my regards and endless respect.
A student from Ankara
I, as a supporter of the IYSSE in Turkey, stand in solidarity with the striking Volvo workers. The current situation shows the power of solidarity. Volvo workers must hold resolutely until they are victorious. I will always be there to support your struggle.
As the pandemic has made the crisis worse, thousands of workers have been unemployed or have been sent to die. All workers are capable of rising up against capitalists in the period wracked with crisis. The only way to overthrow this rotten capitalist system is an international struggle and solidarity based on the socialist perspective! Only working class unity can defend workers’ rights and fight for equality!