Turkish Airlines Strike: workers up against bosses and union

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Turkish Airlines Strike: workers up against bosses and union
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Turkish Airlines Strike: workers up against bosses and union. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

the ripening dynamic

When will we realize that we don't need to go on our hands and knees, asking the bourgeoisie for their permission to strike - the "right" to strike as it's comically called - for if we decide after discussion, that we're going to withdraw our labour till some demand we make is met, then we just do it. We stop work; we ask other workers, in other sectors, for their support; we control the strike ourselves keeping quite clear of all unions and their anti-working class bureaucrats; and we make sure that no polluting boss-like influence infiltrates our organization till we get what we want. And what we want may change and develop of course. We have to remember that. We are the working class; our so-called rulers need us far more than we need them, and can't in fact exist without us. On the other hand, we can do very well without them, and this is what we have to understand.

So, in Turkey, the bosses had the cheek to sack some workers by text message, and even left somebody abandoned in a foreign country because that's where he was when sacked! Who do the bosses think they are? It's time they had to face reality. How long do we let them get away with stuff like this?

"The public workers strike of May 23rd where 500,000 public workers participated also demanded the right to strike along with a demand for higher wages. The Turkish Airlines workers went on strike only for the strike ban; the main role played by the unions in both events was to isolate the ripened dynamic in order to prevent it from meeting with the other sectors of the class. In accordance with their role to divide the workers into sectors, the unions tried to melt down the energy present in these two struggles within sectoral limits.".

Striking for higher wages is one thing; it's traditional. Striking for the right to strike seems odd. Striking against a strike ban begins to sound more sensible because it's more political, and more savvy. This is "the ripening dynamic". The unions and the bourgeoisie are terrified of this. What will happen to them if workers become politically savvy and conscious of the dynamic underpinning this exploitative society, the true nature of which they're so keen to hide? We know what will happen; the bourgeoisie will be thrown down. Sometimes it appears that they are beginning to grasp the implications of this unfolding crisis for the class struggle faster than we are. They tremble before the ripening dynamic, and fear the contagion of consciousness. Let's hasten the ripening.

more ripening

Comrade Gul writes: "...only organizations where the workers can take their own decisions can push the struggle forward... the workers are capable of coming together in the struggles and organize open meetings and mass assemblies; and these assemblies have to appear as the form of workers' self-organization in every real struggle if it is to succeed."

It appears that what is important is not the limited probably original economic aim of the struggle, but the process of struggle itself: and that the real success of the struggle lies in the achievement of self-organization in open meetings and assemblies - in short workers self-organization of struggle - rather than in the mere attainment of some economic gain, which won't last long under austerity in any case. So "pushing the struggle forward" relates mainly to gains for class consciousness, not to some momentary hand-out from the bourgeoisie. Is this correct?

This means that doing anything under the auspices of the unions is totally wasted time. They merely stand in the way of our achieving any gains for class consciousness at all. But didn't we already know that - in Europe if not in the States? And what are the implications of this for future "strikes" - or industrial action or even political action? Isn't the whole scenario of worker demands going to be transformed: from masses being led by the nose up a dead end, to something more like well-thought-out and planned guerilla tactics designed to thwart and undermine the best laid plans of the bourgeoisie as they seek to impose austerity (we're all in this together lol) and make us pay for their crisis in order to sustain their economic system?

I think Gul is raising a whole lot of - at least for me - new issues about proletarian struggle, it's nature and aims, and I thank Turkey and it's vanguard workers for that. But why Turkey...?

Marin Jensen
Maybe not so new?

Not sure if I got Fred's point - I may have missed something - but surely the idea that the important thing about the struggle is not the immediate gains is not so new as all that.

Here's the Communist Manifesto: "Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers".

Marx was talking about the formation of unions of course, but in today's conditions the point still stands and I think that is the point Gul is making.

No, its not that old, but in

No, its not that old, but in Marx's time there was still the possibility that the struggle for the immediate economic issues could be "successful" in the sense of lasting reforms. Still, with the emergence of the mass strike at the turn of the twentieth centruy, Luxemburg, etc. pointed out that the importance of the struggle was in its tendency to promote the broadest possible unity among workers in preparation for the final revolutionary assault on the state, rather than winning this or that economic morsel from the bourgeoisie.

I'm not sure if I get Fred's

I'm not sure if I get Fred's - or is it Gul's- point either. But isn't it like "the importance of the struggle is the struggle itself"? and in today's crisis the only gain possible is...the struggle. It may not be new, but it's new for me, and may be new again for the class, which always has to re-capture it's former gains, doesn't it, especially after long years of counter-revolution and the onset of decomposition? And isnt Gul's identification of 'the ripening dynamic' an antidote to decomposition, whatever exactly this dynamic is? We need more information Gul. Maybe we're not going to get the mass strike this time round, with it's gains for unity as explained by Rosa, but that the "energy" referred to by Gul, and the object of dissipation for the unions, is going to find forms of organized struggle more appropriate and more consciously planned, to fight a bourgeoisie unified against us, but bedeviled itself by austerity and the on-going collapse of it's economic and belief systems.