The following are three more solidarity letters from the UK to the ground workers at Frankfurt Airport who went on hunger strike to defend their jobs. Use this contact form for more statements of solidarity. We will forward them to the workers and publish them on the WSWS.
As a key worker in the UK, I would like to voice my solidarity for the workers’ struggle in Frankfurt, Germany, against WISAG. Expressed in the principled act of a hunger strike, their protest is against unfair dismissals, wage theft, and the company’s unsafe coronavirus policy. In December, fully 230 workers were arbitrarily dismissed, including 31 bus drivers denied wages since October.
The hunger-striking workers’ slogan, “Us today, you tomorrow!,” is at once a warning about the immediate future and an indication of the shared nature of this struggle, based as it is on common roots. From increased wage cuts to job reductions to the worsening of working conditions, workers alike are subjected to the same conditions of exploitation and oppression under capitalism—trends witnessed globally and accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.
The WISAG workers’ protest expresses, in a concrete form, the growing anger and outrage felt by workers the world over—forced on the one hand to continue working in unsafe conditions, without necessary safety measures against the spread of the virus, and subjected on the other to intensified exploitation, in the form of job cuts and wage reductions, under cover of the pandemic.
Despite this gross and explicit attack on workers, the services union Verdi, complete with leading members on the WISAG board, is attempting to confine opposition to ineffective forms (as by appealing to the Wisser family, the super-rich owners of WISAG ) and thereby eliminate its revolutionary potential (from another angle, the bourgeois media is maintaining silence and thereby segregating the protest from the broader mass of working class support).
Hence the need, identified, analysed, and promoted by the WSWS, for the full, undiminished political independence of the working class, in this struggle as in all others—from the trade union bureaucracy, from the bourgeois parties, and from the pseudo-left formations.
Your heroic struggle is not going unnoticed. Take heart, don’t give up! You are at the forefront of a fightback against appalling worker exploitation. I applaud you. Where you lead others will follow.
Fraternal greetings from Yorkshire, UK.
This is what it has come to—in an attempt to keep your job you have to put your life on the line by going on hunger strike, while the employers cash in on the COVID-19 threat. And you then have to risk your life and/or your nearest and dearests’ lives by going into work under the threat of contracting the deadly disease. WISAG workers have to take a new course; the capitalist class cannot offer the working class a future, it has to be done away with. Unity with workers across Germany and internationally through building workers committees is the only course of action in defence of its own independent interest.