The colleagues have been fighting against their terrible working conditions for months: systematic wage theft, insufficient equipment, many accidents and only temporary contracts. The management systematically violates labor laws and exploits the precarious situation of the workers, most of whom are migrants. In order to enforce better working conditions and pressure gorillas to comply with the law, workers have repeatedly gone on wildcat and political strikes. The company’s response has been draconian, ranging from mass firings of those involved in the strike to attempts to have works council elections banned. In this way, the company is attempting to prevent workers from organizing at the workplace and is engaging in union-busting. If they are successful in this, other employers will follow suit. An attack on gorillas is therefore an attack on all workers!
Bad conditions do not only exist within gorillas. For example teachers, educators, social workers and other employees in the public sector are currently also fighting for a increase in wages. They do not accept the blocking attitude of the tariff community of German countries any longer and conduct warning strikes. For this the trade union for education and science (GEW) brought 6,000 workers on the street last week and announced another strike day for November 17.
The employees of the Workers‘ Welfare Association (AWO) are also fighting against poor working conditions in their companies, specifically the payment below the level of the TV-L collective agreement. For this reason, ver.di called the employees of the daycare and educational institutions of the organization into a strike lasting eight days.
Precariousness has long since ceased to be a phenomenon that only affects small startups. Increasingly industry is also working with fixed-term contracts and public-sector companies are also outsourcing, using fixed-term contracts and exerting pressure on wages. But organizing precarious sectors is difficult for the big unions. Not least because union busting methods are massively applied there, as is currently the case with gorillas. This makes it all the more important that there are already self-organized actions by the riders and pickers of Gorillas that the unions can build on.
However the consolidation of the strikes that is necessary for success, has yet to take place. It would be in the interest of all members of Ver.di, GEW and the Gorillas that joint actions are planned. Tomorrow is an important opportunity for this. For tuesday ver.di has called a large number of public daycare centers and district offices as well as schools throughout the city to strike. It is „all employees within the collective agreement, trainees and dual students of the following service districts are called for November 16 to an all-day warning strike from the beginning of service: the Kita-own enterprises SüdOst, NordOst and NordWest, the state schools of Berlin (except teachers) and the district offices Lichtenberg, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Mitte, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick, Spandau, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Reinickendorf.“ In particular, a „central strike meeting […] will take place from 9:30 am at the Berlin Cathedral / Am Lustgarten. A demonstration is then planned to Pariser Platz / Brandenburg Gate, where a rally will take place around 11:00.“
Just as Gorillas workers have shown solidarity with the hospital movement in past actions, they also plan to attend the ver.di rally tomorrow with a delegation. In turn, ver.di and the GEW should mobilize their members for the big Gorillas demonstration on the same evening starting 5 p.m. at Muskauer Strasse 48, Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Because only the common discussion beyond the union borders can provide their strikes with more fighting power. Because the struggle for better working conditions is the same everywhere and can only be won if people fight together.
Some workers, such as the Ver.di workers‘ group at the FU, as well as the GEW workers‘ group at the „Schule in der Köllnischen Heide,“ are already showing solidarity with the actions of the gorillas. Now, the entire union federations must follow suit and mobilize the workers in to link their struggles. Because only if they initiate the linking of the strikes and fend off the attacks of the capitalists, they can together be a beacon for other struggles of our class.