WILDCAT STRIKE FORD-WERKE COLOGNE 1973 – TALK AND MUSIC
Labour struggle: On 24 August 1973, mainly Turkish “guest workers” at the Ford plant in Cologne-Niehl stopped work and halted the entire production of the plant.
A “wildcat strike”, a work stoppage supported by the collective without the consent of the union – the trigger was the dismissal of 300 Turkish workers, which had not been withdrawn even after negotiations. As in previous years, the workers had returned late from their four-week annual leave. It was the first major labour struggle in the Federal Republic of Germany, which was mainly supported by migrant workers. It ended in defeat for the strikers. The fact that the Works Council and IG Metall rejected the strike and that the strikers did not succeed in bringing larger parts of the German workforce permanently on their side played a significant role.
Who were these people? How did they live and work? How did the strike begin and end?
Aliki Schäfer will talk about the causes and consequences with guests Kutlu Yurtseven (musician and activist) and Sidar Carman (Verdi trade union), and migrant industrial workers will also be invited to talk about their own experiences in the Stuttgart region during this time. The musical guest will be the Stuttgart musician Nazim Sabuncu (Limanja), who used the 50th anniversary of the strike as an occasion to release the song “1973 Grevi”.
An event in cooperation with the German-Turkish Forum and the Musik- und Kulturverein KlangOase.
Yeter artık greve basla / Now enough is enough, go on strike!
Almanın işi bitmez asla / Because the work of the Germans will never end!
Hep isterler daha da fazla / They always want more and more,
Hiç mi insaf yok bunlarda / Don’t they have any compassion anymore?
(Refrain from the song “1973 Grevi”)