The pilots of Jet Airways have gone on strike, in protest against the termination of two of their colleagues, from services. The two pilots had been trying to form a trade union of airplane pilots, for which they have been penalised by the employers.
The strike of pilots, has once again made it glaring that it is the working class which makes the world run and if they wish they can stop everything by moving a finger. And if a handful of pilots can give such a big jolt to the whole system, what would happen if the multi-million working class rises to take its destiny in its own hands! In ordinary times, an illusion is created as if rich bosses are everything and the workers nothing. Only strike tells that bosses are nothing and it is workers who are everything.
It is why all the forces of the system run by the rich, have joined hands to defeat the striking pilots. The corporate and their media, the government, the courts, the police, as if everyone has pulled the strings against the pilots. Court has issued a restraint order against the strike, while government is making preparations to call into service, the ESMA. By issuing a statement, the pilots, however, have demonstrated their will to continue the strike against all odds, till their colleague pilots are reinstated to work.
The two days strike has given a very important lesson that the struggle of the workers cannot be confined against the individual employers. The employers are immediately backed not only by their entire class, but also by the whole machine of state, designed to serve the bosses against the workers. As it becomes clear that handful of workers are no match for the combined strength of the rich employers and their government, the need arises for the working class to join hands against its class enemies. The workers essentially realise that they have to confront the state before they could resist the employers. This way every struggle of the working class, whatever its causes and dimensions may be, at the very next step, essentially becomes a political struggle against the state machine in service of the rich. The struggle teaches the workers that it is not their individual employer, but the class of employers and the whole system of capitalism put in place by them, which is responsible for their woes.
The development of science and computerisation, has increased the strength of working class hundredfold. A handful of workers, in agreement with each other, now can bring down the entire system to its knees within minutes and it is impossible to substitute these highly skilled workers at ease. The flash strikes, like the one of the Jet pilots, in defiance of laws like Industrial Disputes Act, which make it mandatory to issue a 14 days notice before a strike, so as to provide sufficient cushion to employers to make preparations in advance, including a ‘stay’ against it from a Court, are very effective weapon in the hands of the working class. Without giving an opportunity to the enemy to take to its feet, the strike appears. Pilots’ strike is the pathfinder for future struggles.
The issue, raised by the pilots’ action, i.e. the right to organise in class unions, is of universal significance for the working class. Paradoxically, however, the action of pilots has itself shown, that of real and crucial importance is the class struggle of the working class, and not any legal rights. But the struggle of sections of workers, becomes a genuine class struggle when it is directed against the class of their enemies- the rich bosses and their stooge governments- in which the broadest sections of the working class, those millions and millions take part to fight against their deprivation of all rights. Every trivial struggle of the workers, in this way, may be the trigger for a real struggle of the entire working class, which reels under much worse conditions of life as compared to that of the better paid pilots. This is another reason why the workers must support the cause of the pilots. Support to the cause of pilots is in fact a fight against the common enemies of the working class!
We, thus, call upon all sections of the working class to support the action of pilots by all means and measures, including demonstrations, protests, strikes etc. and express their class solidarity in action.
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