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ATTENTION TO THE PRESS AND PUBLIC:
We are facing a new period in one of the deep rooted work places of our country, State Railways, under the title "Deregulation". What they are avoiding from stating to the workers, passengers and the public is that this is actually "Privatization" itself.
The Workers of our country know the impact of privatizations very well.In all the privatizations until now, while the rentiers had all their interests met, the workers of those establishments were obliged to unemployment and poverty.
Let's remember; many establishments such as Et-Balık Kurumu, Süt Endüstrisi Kurumu, Sümerbank Mensucat, Tekel, TÜPRAŞ, SEKA , Telekom and many others were sold merely for a price equivalent to the value of their land. Only in the last decade, the number of privatized establishments has been 125. The voices, demands, objections and experiences of TEKEL workers are still fresh in our memories. As we look back today, we can better understand the rightfulness of the ones who struggled and fought against the process of privatization. Many workers became unemployed as a result of privatizations. They were obliged to work for less, without any social security and labour unions. The people who benefitted from services like education and health among others, a constitutional duty of the State, were forced to pay more. Many of the businesses privatized in pursuit of a more profitable operation were shut down and in their places were built huge shopping malls. Have a look at Kadıköy Et Balık Kurumu (Kadıköy Fish & Meat Establishment) which is visible to many of us on the way to work. The factory is turned into a wreck and its garden is now being operated as a parking for cars.
Let's ask which problem of the country you solved by privatizing all these establishments and obliging the workers either to unemployment or work with low salaries and without any security? Did you end poverty, unemployment and foreign dependence? No. No. No. What is happening will be very clear with the figures I shall be reading now.
The share, the richest 1% in Turkey takes from the total wealth, increased to 54.3% at the end of 2014 from 38.1% in 2000. All these practices while enriching a rich minority further, created new masses of unemployed and poor people. This is the pure reality.
Dear Railway Workers,
we, transportation industry workers, have also been exposed to privatization practices from 1990 until today. We, as Turkish Republic State Railways (TCDD in Turkish) workers, have been fighting for over 25 years against the looting policies and practices which are tried to be directed and implemented by international finance institutions in cooperation with domestic collaborators. At the onset of 1990s, a report ordered to an American company by the government of the time advised rapid implementation of privatization of transportation services.
The report which recommended liquidation of non-essential functions also advised to decrease the number of personnel from 44.958 in 1996 to 20.250 in 2005. All the governments to date were loyal to the recommendations of this report and they closed TCDD technical schools, hospitals, ports and workshops. Many train services were removed and train stations closed. In 2014 TCDD staff across Turkey decreased to 25.957.
Look at the results of the projects launched as the ‘projects of the century'.
You can no longer enter Istanbul by train from a different city or country, while the streets of the biggest city of Turkey Istanbul are being flooded by buses and trucks. The suburban trains which used to serve between Gebze and Haydarpaşa, and Sirkeci and Halkalı are taken away. Suburban trains, Adapazarı Expresseses, Thrace Expresses, Adana-Toros, Denizli-Pamukkale, Diyarbakır-South, Kars-East, Ankara-Fatih, Başkent, Anadolu sleeping-car expresses no longer exist.
While the workers were being exposed to violence on the streets during May 1 of 2013, the Law on Deregulation of State Railways, passed at the Parliament, divided the institution into two and transferred train operations to private sector, leaving workers and passengers to the mercy of companies.
While it is mentioned that the aforementioned law will be put into practice by 21 June 2016, and no steps have been taken to full-time employ the subcontracted workers, workers-for-hire practice has been activated. This attempt is a sign of tougher days ahead.
It is not necessary to be a fortuneteller to pronounce yet another threat awaiting the railway workers following privatization, which is the loss of economic and social rights following transfer of many workers of different titles and ranks into a general pool, like it already happened in other privatized establishments.
All the staff of State Railways, workers, employees, subcontracted ones, as a whole who actually turn the wheels, are anxious and worried about their future. Neither the Ministry, nor the management is taking any action to address the concerns. Instead they are clandestinely planning to implement their own project.
Dear RailWay Workers;
We as BTS (United Transporters Union) have fought against privatization with all our means since our establishment. Despite the foundation of an anti-privatization platform with other unions and associations, our Union seems to be the only one actively supporting this platform.
As also seen in other privatized establishments before, employers managed to sell all establishments one by one by founding labour unions who will act together with them and undermining the anti-privatization struggle.
The practices in other recently privatized establishments clearly demonstrate that it is always the workers who suffer as a whole no matter which union they are a member of, who they vote for or which faith they believe in.
As members and managers of United Transporters Union, we declare that only way out against the privatization that is implemented in our establishment, is to fight together in solidarity. We call upon all railway workers to unite and support this struggle.
As a last word, please do not forget,
THERE IS NO SALVATION ALONE
EITHER ALLTOGETHER, OR NONE.
Birleşik Taşımacılık Çalışanları Sendikası İstanbul 1 Nolu Şube
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