[Bulgaria/Austria] Solidarity with the struggle of Bulgarian nurses

12 October 2020, WAS-AIT, Vienna, https://wiensyndikat.wordpress.com

The Vienna Workers’ Union (WSA-AIT) joins the appeal of the Austria-Bulgaria Workers International Aid (Internationalen Arbeiterhilfe Österreich-Bulgarien) for a rally in solidarity with Bulgarian healthcare workers. We are in friendly contact in Bulgaria with the companions of the ARK base union, in which some nurses are organized, and we support their fight against dismissals and repression.

Long live international solidarity!

Call for demonstration in front of the Bulgarian Embassy: Friday, October 16, 2020, 5 p.m.

Solidarity with the Union of Bulgarian Nurses (SBMS)!

Immediate reinstatement of dismissed colleagues!

For more than a year, the Bulgarian Independent Nurses Union (SBMS) has been fighting with the grassroots union ARK against the deteriorating conditions of the health system. Privatization, corruption and austerity measures are part of a policy that sells the health of the people to the interests of the few. There is a shortage of over 30,000 nurses in Bulgaria. Each nurse does the work of three people, while she receives a salary of just over 400 Bulgarian Leva, or 200 Euros. 80% of working nurses are already retired, they are overworked and often sicker and more broken than their patients.

Today nurses have become known to the public, before our struggle, they did not exist, only doctors were considered. The nurses continued to be pushed down. But now they have a voice, now they have risen.” (a member of SBMS)

The response to the concerns and struggle of Bulgarian nurses has become so great in recent months that not only has the Minister of Health had to resign, but improvements have also been made. But precisely because the support of the population is so strong, the government and the entrepreneurs are now trying to intimidate and silence the militant nurses with repressive means. Not only the most active nurses in the movement are arrested during protests, they are also harassed and fired, as was recently the case with Boyka Anastasova, one of the most active members of the SBMS

In Austria, too, we see how the healthcare system is continually being cut and dismantled. Here too, hundreds of nurses took to the streets last year to fight for better working conditions. And right now, in the middle of the corona pandemic, attempts are being made to push through further austerity measures. By now it is becoming clear how justified and necessary the struggle of nurses is – in Bulgaria and Austria.

Immediate reinstatement of dismissed SBMS colleagues!

Solidarity with the fight of the Union of Bulgarian Nurses!

For a health system at the service of the people!

International worker aid – Bulgaria / Austria

With the support of: Antifascist Action, Vienna Workers’ Union (WAS-AIT)

[Bulgaria/Austria] SARS-CoV-2 Aid delivery has arrived in Bulgaria!

August 17, 2020, WSA-AIT, https://wiensyndikat.wordpress.com

In June of this year, the Vienna Workers ‘Union (WAS-AIT) supported the Austria-Bulgaria International Workers’ Aid with donations of equipment and products.

This campaign was launched by the Bulgarian grassroots union ARK to help staff in Bulgarian hospitals who are seriously suffering from lack of protective masks, disinfectants, etc. We are happy to announce that the relief delivery packages have arrived in Bulgaria and hope that these donations will be of great help to Bulgarian colleagues!

Below we document the full article from Workers’ International Aid:

Great success of Austria Bulgaria International Workers’ Aid!

The Austria-Bulgaria International Workers’ Assistance initiative launched in June has been a great success and an important sign of international solidarity. Our Bulgarian colleagues welcomed the aid packages as an important support and a strong symbol of the common cause of the workers!

For the first time in many decades, an initiative like this has been organized in Austria by independent and activist trade union initiatives and colleagues from different sectors. The exemplary and determined struggle of the Bulgarian nurses found a broad solidarity among the colleagues. Protective equipment and disinfectant material were collected vigorously to support their justified fight.

International worker aid not only found wide support among Austrian workers, but it was also warmly welcomed in Bulgaria as a strong sign of international solidarity. Colleagues of the Bulgarian Nurses’ Union (SBMS) and the “Autonomous Association of Workers” (ARK) union received the aid with great joy! In a broadcast on social networks, the ARK writes: “Solidarity during a crisis and in the workers’ struggle is the most important thing for the success of this struggle. Collectives of self-employed workers in Austria have taken the initiative to support medical personnel in Bulgaria. They campaigned for solidarity and collected a large amount of protective equipment and disinfectants to help their Bulgarian colleagues. This donation shows that not only political leaders can unite against workers, but also how we ourselves can break down national barriers and help each other. With great gratitude to the Austrian colleagues and may this example illuminate all of Europe and the whole world for common work and the unification of workers for a new and just world.”

Many Bulgarian colleagues, particularly from rural areas where the material collected is particularly urgently needed, welcomed this action and thanked them for this strong and exemplary sign of international solidarity.

The Austria6bulgaria International Workers Assistance Initiative is the right response to the pandemic and to the capitalist-imperialist policy of plundering and shifting the burden of the crisis onto the working class and the people!

This initiative is a living expression of internationalism and the necessary cohesion of workers. We are very happy to have made an important contribution to the development of international solidarity with this initiative and we would like to thank all those who so actively support Austria-Bulgaria Workers’ International Aid! This success also shows us how necessary and urgent it is to pursue this initiative even more intensely!

Long live the international solidarity of workers! Long live the just cause of the ARK and the SBMS!

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