Following we publish the english Translation for an call for Solidarity from Austria with the Health-Care Workers in Bulgaria.
The corona pandemic makes the bad effects of capitalist policies on the health-care system clearly visible in many countries, regardless of how hard they have been affected by the pandemic. From the reduction in the capacities of the intensive care units for years, to the inadequate or even hardly existing basic mass supply, to the temporary “suspension” (or in some cases the collapse) of entire care areas that are not directly “corona-relevant”. Already before the pandemic there was resistance of the employees against such health-care conditions in many countries, as well in Austria there were strikes and demonstrations for better working conditions and against the massive deteriorations in the health-care system. Our concerns are now even more urgent: The health of the people is not allowed to be a trading good! Our health is not allowed to be sacrificed for profit! We are not paying with our health for your economical and political crisis! Similar concerns and demands are raised all over the world, because cost savings, outsourcing, privatization, corruption, etc. characterize the health-care systems in many countries. Precisely because of this the Corona-pandemic could has become a deadly threat so often.
This is precisely why also the care workers in Bulgaria have been struggling with demonstrations and strikes for a long time against the devastating conditions in the health-care system. Although all Bulgarian hospitals, including private ones, are publicly financed, there is no control over what happens with the public money. Only a few, who sit in the right places, get rich. Medical personnel, on the other hand, receive wages that are below the national average wages. Because of that many of them are forced to go abroad, which in turn leads to a shortage of medical staff in the country. Those who stayed do not have enough protective equipment even in the face of the corona pandemic and sometimes have to look for themselves where to find masks, disinfectants, protective clothing, etc. Despite these conditions, the official unions are inactive and do not support the workers in their concerns. Therefore, in the protests of the medical personnel, a separate, independent union was formed: the Bulgarian Nursing Union (SBMS), which was immediately the target of severe attacks by the bureaucracy and the state apparatus, which is why the struggling general union “Independent Worker’s association” (ARK) calls up for urgent solidarity with the SBMS.
Financial or material „aid“, which is provided by the governments of other countries, but also by so-called „non-governmental organizations“ (NGOs) in the context of the corona pandemic, rarely reach their goal and, if they do, they primarily strengthen the power of foreign companies and governments. They do not help the workers or the people, but are part of the problem! At the same time, independently organized unions and workers‘ organizations are being oppressed to different degrees, fought and should be kept small in order not to let any resistance occur. All around the world the pandemic showed the results of the capitalist health-care policies, but no change of this course was made. On the contrary, often new austerity measures are being made. This shows once again: we workers must unite, we must help and support each other!
As workers in the health-care and other sectors, we decided in solidarity with our colleagues in Bulgaria to collect all kinds of disinfectants and infection protection and to organize a delivery with the collected material. It will be passed on directly to the local colleagues and support them in their struggle against bad working conditions and for a health-care system in the service of the people. The working class must and will find ways and means to end capitalist attacks on their rights and living standards. It will find ways and means by struggling, organizing and uniting. The Bulgarian colleagues are an important example of this. Let us support them in their struggle! Collect disinfectants and infection protection, hand them in to us until the 22nd of June, or send them to the address below. Collect it together with your colleagues in your company. If that is not possible, collect donations from your colleagues, pool together and buy together disinfectants and infection protection. Spread the struggle of the SBMS to your colleagues, let’s support together the SBMS and let’s follow the call of the ARK!
Long live the international solidarity of the workers!
Long live the just cause of ARK and SBMS!
Postadress: Internationale Arbeiterhilfe Österreich-Bulgarien, Amerlinghaus Kulturzentrum, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Wien