Open letter to the employees of RWE and to the union IGBCE

This letter was also distributed to trade unionists, see Action Marximal Confusion

Dear trade unionists, dear employees of RWE,

I write to you as an activist from the Hambach Forest. I know there were almost always bad words between us in the past. But we wonder if it must be like that.

After all, you’re just scared not to be able to care for you and your families if you should lose your job. That’s more than understandable. And we want our children and grandchildren to have a livable planet as well. This may be understandable for you.

Actually, like us, you’re scared of RWE. We, because they are going to destroy our homes and our future. You, because they may no longer give you what you need to live. We could have a common opponent. Actually, it has always been the role of a trade union, to represent the interests of employees in relation to their company? And let’s be honest, we all know what will happen in the next few years. Sooner or later, RWE will exit from the lignite and collect millions of compensations and severance payments. You as a simple employee will not see anything like that. And you can be sure that no one on the management level will get into any existential problems.

So start doing what a union should do. Demand to be involved in the severance payments, to continue to be paid after the coal exit, even if your workforce is no longer needed (because, honestly, who likes working above all?). Increase the weight of your demands with strikes or sabotage. After all, the 40-hour week and the weekend were not won because the unions sucked up to the companies.

Maybe you can just come and visit us and talk over a tea, beer or juice about how we can help each others to keep your and our livelihoods? Maybe we can ally against the corporation that attacks us and sweats you? And if not, can we at least try to understand our mutual fears and reduce personal enmity, even when we afterwards are back on different sides?

And maybe we realize that we both want the same world? A world where you even have a right to a good life if you can not or do not want to sell your labor right now?

I do not want you to be our enemy. Our enemies are named RWE and capitalism. And you are suffering from them just like us.

But if you come to destroy our homes we will fight back. Not out of hatred for you. But out of necessity. I’m sure you understand that. I’m sure if someone came to your house, ripped off your house and threatened your family, then you would defend yourself with all means available. And if someone tries to destroy my home and threatens my (chosen) family, I will also resort to any means to resist to it. I hope that this does not lead to troubles between us.

Optimistic greetings, an activist

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