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(en) Ireland, WCR - Organise! - Migrant Workers Fighting Back

Date Wed, 20 Jul 2005 16:33:29 +0300

The Turkish Workers Action Group are continuing their
struggle against the construction multi-national GAMA.
Workers have taken strike action, staged demonstrations
and received widespread solidarity in their struggle
against highly organised fraud and brutal exploitation
at the hands of the multi-national construction company.
GAMA workers who have been subjected to a regime of
massive exploitation since the firm came to Ireland in
2000 are demanding access to accounts that had been
secretly set up in their names by GAMA at the
Finasbank, Holland. It is now believed that over E30
million that should have been paid to current and past
workers was lodged in these accounts by the company
without the knowledge of GAMA workers.

Workers are obliged to work over 80 hours a week on “a
basic wage rate of E2.20 an hour plus food and lodging
in barrack accommodation” state the TWAG. While
publicly claiming to pay their operatives E12.96 an
hour intimidation kept the lid on the real conditions
for Turkish migrant workers for some time. The threat
of withdrawal of work permits, and fears of workers
for the physical safety of their families back in
Turkey were used against workers until the full extent
of GAMA’s wages theft and exploitation was made
obvious to them with the discovery of the secret bank
accounts holding money that should have been paid to
the workers.

GAMA have taken out an injunction against the
publication of the Labour Inspectorate’s Report into
them, no doubt to give them time to concoct more lies
to cover their arses.

GAMA came to Ireland as a direct result of Irish
government policy, they claimed Turkish workers were
resident in Turkey and avoided paying income tax for
them, the work permit scheme allowed them to hold the
workforce to ransom for years, and super-exploitation
of workers allowed them to undercut the competition
seeing the company rewarded with the allocation of
state sponsored projects.

What we see here is not an aberration, it represents
the logical outcome of a system that puts the drive
for profit above all else.

Credit must go to Joe Higgins and Mick Murphy,
Socialist Party TD and Councillor respectively, for
the support and encouragement they have given these
workers. We do not agree with Joe and Mick that there
can be a parliamentary road to socialism, nor will
they win this dispute on behalf of the workers. It is
the strength and resolve of the workers themselves,
together with the mobilisation of working class
solidarity that will win this dispute.

Victory to the Turkish Workers Action Group!
Contact TWAG C/O Joe Higgns, Tel: +353 (01) 618 3038
Mick Murphy, Tel: +353 086 9683814

From the pages of Working Class Resistance, magazine
of Organise!, now available in text and PDF format at:


Downloads at:
* [Ed. Note: Organise! is an anarchist group]

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