Unemployed Workers of Afghanistan
Just a few days ago marked the anniversary of the coup d‘état by the People‘s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which was supported by the Soviet Union, against the Republic of Daoud Khan‘s government in Afghanistan. This event brought back memories of the conversations about workers that were taking place at the time, and, as in previous years, discussions about the consequences of the bloody event were held among citizens. A group of politicians and military personnel, without making the working class in Afghanistan a major force and one of the main players in the country‘s politics and economy, staged a coup in support of the Soviet Union and proletarian internationalism, and used the hammer and sickle as their emblem of legitimacy. Before the country had access to electricity, roads, factories, cities, national newspapers, industrial production, and consequently, a large presence of workers, political literature on workers‘ issues had already arrived in universities and intellectual gatherings. Those who claimed to be fighting for workers‘ struggles failed to recognize the country‘s specific conditions and took copies of books at face value rather than taking into account the social and economic realities of their homeland. This ultimately led to the destruction of both the land of farmers and the battlefield of workers, and as a result, the country‘s progress towards the development of non–agricultural working conditions was first halted and then reversed over the past half century.
Yesterday, people around the world celebrated Labor Day. In some countries, it was declared an official holiday, while in others, labor unions and associations held demonstrations and meetings to voice their demands and discuss the future of work and wages. In Afghanistan, where a group called “workers“ had a revolution decade ago, workers still do not own any organization or political party, nor do they have a national union or a credible tribune. The country has been taken over by a group that has a primitive understanding of work, considers wages a daily and divine gift, and forces various sections, particularly women, to be deprived of work. There are also few credible and standardized factories throughout the country. Despite the high levels of unemployment and lack of jobs, there are millions of workers. In fact, proportionally speaking, Afghanistan is one of the busiest nations in the region. Millions of hungry workers who are engaged in peddling, carrying loads, driving, weaving, and other manual labor make up a large part of the population, and in terms of numbers, they are several times more than the Taliban and all the other claimants of power.
Due to the destruction of their land for work and livelihood, Afghan workers have become the weakest and most deprived social class, unable to take any collective or rights–seeking action. Millions of our compatriots are working in various countries around the world, particularly in the regional countries, accepting industrial jobs with minimal wages and no basic rights such as insurance, pension, or other economic and social supports. These workers are seasonal and transient, and without being registered in any statistics or census, their wounds and deaths can have a cost. They are working for a loaf of bread and less than the prevailing minimum wage. Factories, fields, and roads in the region have been stained with the blood of hungry and cheap laborers. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of our fellow workers are working with minimal facilities in western countries. On the first day of May this year, Afghan workers were the most deprived workers in the world.