Levent Çakıroğlu, CEO of Koç Holding, stated that 35 thousand workers will permanently work from home and added, “It will increase both the job satisfaction and efficiency”.
Koç Holding is one of the biggest and rooted capitalist groups in Turkey. While the family represents themselves as a secular, employee-friendly capital, they increased their profit enormously during religious reactionist ruling AKP’s era with privatization. Also, Koç Holding’s efforts to represent themselves as an employee-friendly company has repeatedly failed with workers’ strikes and protests.
“On the lights of the experiences of the pandemic period, we will start to apply our future models of flexible working,” CEO Levent Çakıroğlu, who saw the pandemic as new opportunities for increasing profits, stated. “Our work from-home-model will be permanent for our 35 thousand office workers. Work from home/flexible working are decreasing the time that workers spend on transportation. The requirements such as office space and personnel service capacity are becoming redundant.”
Prof. Dr. Gamze Yücesan Özdemir, member of the Solidarity Assembly, which is launched with the initiative of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) to bring together the patriotic, pro-enlightenment, secular, and socialist accumulation of the country, interpreted the statements of the CEO of Koç Holding regarding the making working from home model permanently to soL news, “When we see the concept of flexible, we need to hesitate at first. Flexibility is the loss of the rights that were acquired by the historical struggle of the workers. The labour front has to build a line of defence in this matter immediately.”
“Why does capital want flexibility?” Özdemir asks by pointing out the importance of this regulation for the bosses. “First, they get rid of the costs of office and services. They disband the time and space where the collective existence of the workers is possible. In addition to this, they burden the load of the uncertainty and risk of the crises to the workers.”
Özdemir continued the analysis on the permanency of work-from-home regulation as follows:
“There is no surprise that capital is certain about its interest in this matter. However, the real problem is in the claim that flexibility is good for the workers. With flexibility, they claim that workers will gain time from transportation, will work according to their biological time, will work in multiple jobs if they want to. They say that women will participate in employment while staying home as it is a good thing. This turned into a serious narrative. Flexibility narrative tells the worker that: ‘We will not employ you. You are joining us. You do not work for us, but with us. There is no wage, but profit. There is no shift, but you will be available all the time. You will be the boss of your job. You will decide your own destiny.’ The real problem is this narrative. This narrative told the precarity and futureless.”
‘How are we working now and how can we work’ is the question that the working class and their organizations should discuss and give an answer. The labour front should have a say on the possibility that technology provides and for shortening of working hours. How can ‘alternative’ work be? End up the exploitation, emancipation of the labour, use of the technology… The answer to all of these is on the politics and science in favour of the labour against the capital’s flexibility.”