Struggling workers get together at TKP gathering

Struggling workers in the different sectors of İstanbul got together in the second of the events organized by TKP under the slogan “Call for Hope, Organizing and Celebrating to Win 2020” in Bostancı, İstanbul on 22nd of December
Thursday, 26 December 2019 12:33

Workers from diverse sectors struggling within the "We Breathe Down the Bosses’ Neck" solidarity network participated and showed solidarity with each other at the TKP Istanbul event. Before the commencement of the event, the workers who joined the network told about their struggles in the veranda.


Kadriye Horlu, one of the VIP clothing firm workers dismissed because of their membership to a union made a speech on behalf of her colleagues.

Horlu said, “I have been working in Darıca VIP clothing & textile since 1997. Our working conditions and salaries were really poor. We talked among friends in order to restore it that only unionization would resolve this awful situation. Then we got together and started to look for a union. We contacted Deriteks Union. We learned about our legal and democratic rights. We started to be members. Until the employer finds out…

Foremen, chiefs and the employer set up interrogation rooms and forced them to resign from the union by taking their passwords on the e-citizenship gate. They fired the ones who did not give their passwords. The employer did not accept to negotiate though the union attempted to. Still, we worked on our organization still. The employer did not let me use my right for yearly leave for five long years.

Because they were telling that no other worker could do what I have been doing. When they found out my union endeavor they gave me leave for 60 days. Once I came back to work, they called me to HR in 5 minutes and told me “we are constricting the enterprise”. I said this termination was about my union work. I left. Now, my struggle to get back to work still continues with the aid of the union managers. We are looking forward to getting more aid from friends as well.”


The struggle of the workers who were fired without any of their rights from the Beykent University Avalon Site belonging to Adem Çelik Company Group still continues in front of the head office. Recep, speaking on behalf of the struggling workers said:

“I am now speaking on behalf of the workers working in the construction of Beykent University and its hospital under the contractor firm Adem Çelik Company Group who are fired.

Being fired 55 days ago, we have been resisting for 30 days now. We are keeping on with this resistance as we are organizing in construction workers union. We will keep our struggle until no earlier than we obtain our rights. Construction workers are not slaves. We thank everyone who are with us and who never hesitate to provide us with their sincere support.”


Emel Çelebi spoke in the name of We Breathe Down the Bosses’ Neck Software Workers Solidarity Network who joined the event with the banner written on “We have left our black screens back in our dark offices and we breathe down the bosses’ neck for the bright future”:

“Everybody quite knows that as software workers we work under really intense exploitation. The conditions are so pressing, intense and accepted that we may not even realize this exploitation sometimes.

Doing overtime work and not getting extra payment for it has almost become a rule in the sector. It is written so in our contracts, not even providing a choice for the opposite.

Our working conditions are generally really poor and it’s getting even worse. Occupational illnesses, flexible working, mobbing, outsource working methods have expanded the exploitation very much. All our working colleagues are struggling with stress and intense work-based psychological disorders. A call comes in the middle of the night and we find ourselves at work. They even have eyes on our sleep. They make campaigns like Black Friday just to increase consumption and to get rid of overstock.

Our bosses declare selling records, they tell about it as stories of success in conferences. But in fact, it is us who work day and night for it, we live through a real “black Friday” in the literal sense.

We are a big part of the production in great business spaces like finance or services. While our bosses increase their interests, the biggest share in it is the work of software workers, analysts, testers, systems and data experts and even interns. This fact is obvious but we are still too far from getting together.

Considering the need to change this, we asked ourselves why we do not have a platform to stand against this exploitation and recently decided to found the Software Workers Network. We are not alone now, we have a solidarity network. We are not desperate in the face of our bosses anymore, together we are stronger.

The network we established serves also as a solidarity and struggle network. We should move together and go after our rights by ourselves. From now onwards, what we need to do is to expand this network and make our software worker friends part of that.

We have attended the event on the call of TKP. We know well that the exploitation is at horrible levels for every worker here which we are part of.

In this dark atmosphere, we should not lose hope but move towards organizing. The importance of this event lies in this fact. Once we get out of here, we need to give hope to our working friends and recruit them to our network as well.


Bimeks workers who were fired from technology chain store Bimeks without getting any of their rights came to the event site with the banner written on “We breathe down Akgiray Family’s Neck”. On behalf of the Bimeks workers who got together through We Breathe Down the Bosses’ Neck Solidarity Network, Murat Derin, who was also a Bimeks worker made a short speech.

Stating that their contracts were terminated 3 years ago without any rights and that they could not get together to gain them back, Derin marked that after they came across We Breathe Down the Bosses’ Neck Network they started to struggle for their rights in an organized manner. Mentioning that he believes that they would achieve their goals by their struggle, Derin expressed gratitude for the ones acting with solidarity.

Also, parents of students in Özgür Boza Private School, teachers of Doğa Schools, construction workers, metal workers, hotel workers, and café workers joined the event in Bostancı with their respective banners.