In Praise of Unity against Unemployment
On Monday tens of sacked textile workers from Shaho, Kurdistan Textile and Par Ris factories gathered in front of the Provincial Governor’s office in the city of Sanandaj and demand jobs or unemployment benefits. Such events take place on a daily basis up and down the country. The sacked Tehran Bus workers have frequently protests against their dismissal. News of the plans to cut the wages of Iran Khodro car plant is circulating around. The extend of unemployment and poverty is known to all. Unemployment and fear of loosing ones job is a constant threat and a weapon in the hands of the bosses to drive the wages of the workers further down and force them to succumb to intolerable working conditions. As we have seen in Iran Khodro car plant this weapon has also been deployed to drive a wedge between the employed and unemployed workers; between temporary and contract workers and permenant workers. Such an environment has also been exploited by the bosses to chip away at the meagre wages and benefits of the employed workers.
The latest action by the sacked textile workers in Sanandaj to demand jobs or unemployment benefit is a welcome development and should be supported by not only employed and unemployed workers but also the general population in the city.
As I mentioned above protests against sacking and job losses are constant occurrence around the country. The recent fight by the Shaho Textile workers in the city of Sanandaj is a good example of such struggles. The question however remains to be whether the sacked workers in Sanandaj and Sacked Tehran Bus workers can achieve anything? Is there a way forwards? Could anything be dome against the wave of assaults on jobs and livelihoods of the workers?
Furthermore the government and the boss are planning another round of privatisation and attack on the working class. They are determine to maintain their profits not through investment in technology but through further erosions of the workers wages and at the expenses of their working and living condition.
The news of redundancies and job cuts furnish the pages of the official papers and media. No sector is safe. Today it is the turn o textile and bus workers, tomorrow it could well be the car workers or oil workers. No one is secure.
Unfortunately the action of the sacked textile workers in Sanandaj, although valuable and admirable, is not sufficient. These isolated actions in the absence of a real and practical unity amongst employed and unemployed workers and also due to their sector limitations can not bear a serious pressure on the bosses and the government. Unemployment and struggle against it is the task of the working class as a whole. The reality of our situation and the prospect of imposition of even harsher condition on our class demands, more than ever, the need for a united class action against unemployment. This unity can be forged around the demand for increase in wages linked to inflation and the provision of unemployment benefit for all the jobless aged 16 and over. These are the essential demands of all workers, on permanent or temporary contracts and or unemployed. This is the only way to put up a defence against the consorted attacks of the bosses. Such a united rank can not be achieved without the conscious intervention of the communist workers and measured and organised intervention of the labour leaders. Without the intervention of these workers’ leaders the can not be any talk of an effective safeguard against the capitalist assaults. There is no other way. Unemployment and destitution are being waged against us. We either manage to put up an effective resistance against this onslaught or we let them trample on our livelihood and integrity.
The truth is that we are well capable of doing something about it. We hold the lifeline of this system in our hands. We can grind the production to a halt. And if we decide we can bring the entire country to a stand still. We can force the government and all the boss to beg for mercy. But we must make a move. The world does not have to be so bleak. The class unity does not happen by itself. We must bring it about. We must bring workers from oil, steel, car, textile and… industries together. This historic task calls for the socialist workers intervention and their determination. We owe this to the working class, our children and the humanity. We can unite and organise the working class against unemployment