Kazova: the Turkish factory under workers’ control

When in January 2013 the 94 workers of the Kazova Textile factory in Istanbul's central Sisli neighborhood were collectively fired under false pretenses after their bosses had neglected to pay their salaries for four consecutive months, a small group of workers decided to resist. They organized regular protest marches and set up of a tent in front of the factory to prevent their former bosses from stripping the factory of anything of value. Emboldened by the nationwide Gezi protests which rocked the country in the summer that year, the Kazova workers prepared for the next step and occupied their former workplace. What followed was almost two years of struggles in which the resisting workers were beaten by hired thugs, tear gassed by the police and were caught up in an exhausting legal case in an attempt to claim legal ownership over the textile machinery that would allow them to provide in their own livelihoods.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Worker-Rights-in-Turkey-20150423-0041.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english
When in January 2013 the 94 workers of the Kazova Textile factory in Istanbul's central Sisli neighborhood were collectively fired under false pretenses after their bosses had neglected to pay their salaries for four consecutive months, a small group of workers decided to resist. They organized regular protest marches and set up of a tent in front of the factory to prevent their former bosses from stripping the factory of anything of value. Emboldened by the nationwide Gezi protests which rocked the country in the summer that year, the Kazova workers prepared for the next step and occupied their former workplace. What followed was almost two years of struggles in which the resisting workers were beaten by hired thugs, tear gassed by the police and were caught up in an exhausting legal case in an attempt to claim legal ownership over the textile machinery that would allow them to provide in their own livelihoods.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Worker-Rights-in-Turkey-20150423-0041.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english
When in January 2013 the 94 workers of the Kazova Textile factory in Istanbul's central Sisli neighborhood were collectively fired under false pretenses after their bosses had neglected to pay their salaries for four consecutive months, a small group of workers decided to resist. They organized regular protest marches and set up of a tent in front of the factory to prevent their former bosses from stripping the factory of anything of value. Emboldened by the nationwide Gezi protests which rocked the country in the summer that year, the Kazova workers prepared for the next step and occupied their former workplace. What followed was almost two years of struggles in which the resisting workers were beaten by hired thugs, tear gassed by the police and were caught up in an exhausting legal case in an attempt to claim legal ownership over the textile machinery that would allow them to provide in their own livelihoods.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Worker-Rights-in-Turkey-20150423-0041.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english
When in January 2013 the 94 workers of the Kazova Textile factory in Istanbul's central Sisli neighborhood were collectively fired under false pretenses after their bosses had neglected to pay their salaries for four consecutive months, a small group of workers decided to resist. They organized regular protest marches and set up of a tent in front of the factory to prevent their former bosses from stripping the factory of anything of value. Emboldened by the nationwide Gezi protests which rocked the country in the summer that year, the Kazova workers prepared for the next step and occupied their former workplace. What followed was almost two years of struggles in which the resisting workers were beaten by hired thugs, tear gassed by the police and were caught up in an exhausting legal case in an attempt to claim legal ownership over the textile machinery that would allow them to provide in their own livelihoods.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Worker-Rights-in-Turkey-20150423-0041.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/englishWhen in January 2013 the 94 workers of the Kazova Textile factory in Istanbul's central Sisli neighborhood were collectively fired under false pretenses after their bosses had neglected to pay their salaries for four consecutive months, a small group of workers decided to resist. They organized regular protest marches and set up of a tent in front of the factory to prevent their former bosses from stripping the factory of anything of value. Emboldened by the nationwide Gezi protests which rocked the country in the summer that year, the Kazova workers prepared for the next step and occupied their former workplace. What followed was almost two years of struggles in which the resisting workers were beaten by hired thugs, tear gassed by the police and were caught up in an exhausting legal case in an attempt to claim legal ownership over the textile machinery that would allow them to provide in their own livelihoods.

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Worker-Rights-in-Turkey-20150423-0041.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/englishEmboldened by the nationwide Gezi protests which rocked the country in the summer that year, the Kazova workers prepared for the next step and occupied their former workplace.                             
                                    
                                                    
                                        
                                        
                                        
                                        <p>What followed was almost two years of struggles in which the resisting workers were beaten by hired thugs, tear gassed by the police and were caught up in an exhausting legal case in an attempt to claim legal ownership over the textile machinery that would allow them to provide in their own livelihoods.&nbsp;                            
                                    
                                                    
                                        
                                        
                                        
                                        <p>Inspired by the many solidarity visits they received and the stories of other worker struggles such as the National Movement of Recuperated Businesses in Argentina and the occupied Vio.Me factory in&nbsp; Greece the Kazova workers adopted the slogan of the Landless Movement in Brazil 'Occupy, Resist, Produce!' and started organizing themselves as a cooperative.&nbsp;                            
                                    
                                          

Some of the workers had spent years, if not decades, in the factory, and now suddenly, from one day to the next they found themselves without a job, without an income and without any right or possibility to bring their criminal bosses to justice.  ”In Turkey, the law is not designed in favor of the worker,” states Nihat Özbey, one of the Kazova employees, when I speak with him in their shop. “So, were it not for the use of force, we would never have gotten what we wanted.”

With this in mind, the workers did the only sensible thing they could do: they resisted. Their resistance started in the form of weekly protest marches from the neighborhood’s central square to the factory, but as soon as they learned that in their absence the factory’s former managers continued to rob the place of anything valuable, the workers decided to occupy their former workplace. “On April 28 we pulled up our tent in front of the factory,” Kazova worker Bülent Ünal recounts, “From then on our resistance became a tent resistance.”

Read the full article at ROAR Magazine

 

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