We don’t recognize prohibition of Strike and we are going on our struggle

During group collective bargaining negotiations in GE Grid Solutions, ABB Electricity, Schneider Electricity and Schneider Energy workplace, we couldn’t reach to an agreement. As a result of this, on 20th of January, 2200 Birleşik Metal İş members started our “Metal Strike” with full participation and with great enthusiasm. After we started our strike in the same day, in the mid-day, Government postponed our strike for 60 days.

Metal workers very well know what this strike postponements means. This is not a postponement but it is a prohibition. Since 2002, right to strike of tens of thousands of workers in Glass, Plastics and Mining sectors were taken from them by Government.

Metal workers also experienced Government‘s strike prohibitions themselves many times. In 2015, strike of thousands of metalworkers against MESS (Metal Employers’ Union) were postponed by Government. On 18th of January 2017, Strike in Asil Çelik steel mill was prohibited too.

Right to strike is a basic right which has hsitory of hundreds of years and it is protected by both Constitution and universal rights. By taking right to strike from our hands, it means right to have a free collective bargaining has been taken from our hands too. Right to collective bargaining without strike “doesn’t mean anything”.

Government who turned strike prohibitions into a habit since they took power, is now taking our right to collective bargaining by prohibiting our strike and they simply tell us that “you have to accept whatever employers gives to you”. This means to deem poverty proper for hard working workers.

As metalworkers, we don’t recognize Government’s decision which protects only bosses and employers, which doesn’t take care of workers’ hard work, which takes workers’ right to strike from their hands, which prohibits usage of a Constitutional right.

We are, as Birleşik Metal İş member workers, as we declared before, we don’t submit to Government’s prohibition of strike.  We will defend the right to collective bargaining with right to strike which was earned by working class with hard prices in the history and we are turning our workplaces in to the venue of actions.

We don’t take this decision only for workers who are working for workplaces member to the EMIS (Electromechanical Employers’ Union) but we take decision on behalf of all the workers whose right to strike is taken by their hands regularly. Our actions are also warning actions against the Government  who uses strike prohibitions as “Sword of Damocles” on workers’ right to collective bargaining , who uses state of emergency as an obstacle to use democratic rights, who brings police and water cannons in front of the workers in every small demand for basic rights.

Metalworkers who wrote history many times in the past with their struggle, will once again go on another struggle with great determination which will change the history again. This struggle is against bosses who doesn’t give our hard work’s right and against strike prohibitions of the Government who considers employer’s demands as an order.

Our struggle will continue until a collective bargaining agreement according to our members’ demands will be signed with EMIS.

We invite all the friends of working class to support this just struggle.

BİRLEŞİK METAL-İŞ UNION Executive Board

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Dismissed Renault Workers Are Winning Their Court Cases

Copy of Court DecisionTurkish Court Ordered RENAULT (RNO:PAR) To Pay More Than 2 Mıllıon Euros Fıne

According to a declaration made by DİSK-Birleşik Metal İş (United Metalworkers’ Union) union in Turkey, local labour court of Bursa city in Turkey, ordered French auto producer Renault (RNO:PAR) to pay around 2 million Euros fine for illegally dismissing workers. Renault management in Turkey dismissed around 500 workers in OYAK RENAULT plant in Bursa because of their union activity in March 2016.

Now the court cases, for these workers are finalizing in the courts of Bursa city. Bursa court decided that these workers were dismissed because of their union activity and ordered these dismissals are null and void and these workers have to be reinstated and court also ordered Renault to pay 12 month union indemnity, plus 4 months salary in addiiton to severance pakcage of these workers which is one month bruto salary for each year workers has worked. According to calculations of DİSK- Birleşik Metal İş union, this amount is in total more than 2 million euros for 125 workers who opened court case against the company.

During the court, judge listened witnesses and looked at the evidences including transcripts and voice recordings of phone conversation between Human Resources Managers of the company and workers. In these conversations, company management was openly forcing workers to resign from their union and threatening them with dismissal if they don’t leave their union.

Eventough around 500 workers were dismissed, all of them didn’t open the court cases because they were afraid of not being able to find job if they open court case. Only 125 of dismissed workers opened court cases. So if all the workers would have opened court cases, this amount would be much higher. Beside lump-sum payments court also decided the dismissal of these workers is null and void and they have to be reinstated.

Now Renault management has right to appeal this decision in the high court (Court of Cassation) Union told that according to first contact with the Renault local management, it seems like company wouldn’t apply the decision of the court and wouldn’t reinstate these workers. Birleşik Metal İş officials declared that if Renault management wouldn’t reinstate dismissed workers, they would open another court case this time against headquarters of Renault in France.

Background: In March 2016, Renault management at first dismissed 10 workers’ representatives after that they started to dismiss all the workers who are protesting against dismissals. As a result of this mass dismissal wave, 75 workers were dismissed without severance package and the rest were forced to resign from work by accepting their severance package. Now court decision covers both group of the workers. Also during the dismissals on 1st of March, poliçe attacked Renault workers with tear gas and unlawfully detained 26 workers in front of the Renault factory.

Here in this link you can find a news article by IndustriALL Global Union from March 2016 about dismissals and police violence; http://www.industriall-union.org/turkey-renault-dismisses-workers-using-police-violence-instead-of-upholding-commitments

 

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Secular, Democratic, Indepedent, Social State of Law Cannot be Created by Dictators, It Will be Creation of Workers!

We are going through extraordinary days.

Our country once again came to the verge of a coup d’etat. Starting with yesterday evenning, discussion about a military coup came up. Our country many times has encountered military coups and coup attempts in the past and our country couldn’t recover from the pain and sufferings of these attempts for many years.

Our country paid very heavy prices for these.

Current anti-democratic governance which ignores rule of law, ignores public opinion and attack worker rights and governs the country for many years has brought our country to the current situation.

Since past, workers and people of the country are the those who gets most damages and paid the heaviest price because of coup d’etats which suspends most basic human rights, destructs freedoms and attacks workers’ rights.

Suspension of Constitution, dismantling of rule of law, suspension of freedoms cannot be acceptable regardless of which kind of juntaist and authoritarian mindset they are coming from.

Working class in Turkey will rebuild secular, democratic, independent, social state of law with determination and common sense.

Statement of Birleşik Metal İş

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8th of March Demonstrations; “We challenge irregular, precarious work and women murders”

Birleşik Metal İş organized workplace actions in all the workplaces it is organized. Below you can find links to photos from the factories. The declaration about 8th of March was read by the women workers in the workplaces. In the declaration, it was said;
“As women;
We will end violence!
We want decent, secure jobs!
Peace will come with women!
We will build equal, free future!”

Also on 8th of March, rallies organized in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Edirne, Kocaeli, Bursa, Diyarbakır, Kayseri, Antalya together with civil society organizations. Here, you can find photos from the rally in Istanbul.

Below is the photos from the 8th of March workplace actions in several factories;

Legrand

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153081355114303.1073742329.297416769302&type=1

SİO Automotive

https://www.facebook.com/vatanseverb/posts/10206215989584986

Delphi Automotive

https://www.facebook.com/umit.aslaner/posts/1024703210890709

Entil Hapalki

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153078350869303.1073742328.297416769302&type=1

Anadolu Motor (Lombardini)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153078262204303.1073742327.297416769302&type=1

CAVO

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.614375525330676.1073742102.213558952079004&type=1

Cengiz Makina

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.614376381997257.1073742103.213558952079004&type=1

Power Packer

https://www.facebook.com/adnan.aktas.16/posts/790389787704999

Makina Takım

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.614321118669450.1073742101.213558952079004&type=1

Mahle

https://www.facebook.com/ali.karaoglu.9250/posts/934444259923380

ABB

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153077924529303.1073742325.297416769302&type=1

Schneider Electric

https://www.facebook.com/onur.can.9085/posts/10153174117459255

RENTA (Candy Group)

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=794304160664724&id=100002554429567

 

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Birlesik Metal Is declared Indefinite Strike in Metal Sector covering around 15 000 workers in 42 companies starting by 29th of January 2015

Negotiations between Birleşik Metal-İş union and Metal Employers’ Association (MESS) during the “group collective bargaining agreement” (*) for 2014-2016 term has stuck because of impositions of metal employers organization. This will result with an historic strike in the metal sector covering around 15 000 workers in 42 companies including several multinationals such as Schneider, Alstom, Mahle, Aperam, ABB, BOSAL, BEKAERT, Delphi Automotive, Federal Mogul, Prysmian, Isuzu, Candy Group, S.C.M. (Sistemi Commandi Mechanici)

For Birleşik Metal-İş, the most important demand in our draft was some improvement for low waged workers because in metal sector in Turkey, there is a huge gap between workers who are doing the same job. That’s why, union asked for a general improvement for low waged workers before doing any payrises. But instead of doing this, MESS (Metal Employers’ Organization) widened this gap with the agreements signed with other unions. Also additional to this, they extended the duration of the collective bargaining agreement to 3 years from 2 years which will create more impoverishment for metal workers. MESS imposed metal group collective bargaining agreements which determines starting wages for new workers only slightly above the statutory minimum wage. For example, with the agreements which were signed, the hourly net wage for a new starting worker will be 5,80 TLs for an hour, but on July the hourly minimum wage will be 5,66. So for a worker who will start the work on July and became a union member then if you deduct the union membership fee, the net amunt which this worker will receive, will be even less then the statutory minimum wage. Birlesik Metal Is union will not accept these. That’s why, our union organized a general assembly on 10th of January with all the shop-stewards from these workplaces and the decision of that assembly was to go on strike in these companies starting by 29th of January 2015. In Turkey, strikes has to go on until there is an agreement otherwise the union will loose its competency so the strike will go on until there is an agreement. It will start on 29th of January but nobody know when it will end. It will be a tough process and two other metal unions already signed this agreement and it will make it more difficult and there is a difficiult winter in Turkey, but Birlesik Metal Is members are determined to end this system of impositions and they will not accept the slavery conditions. But they will need international solidarity during their tough fight.
You can send your solidarity letters, messages, videos, photos etc. to eyupozer@gmail.com and if you have any questions you can contact us from 00905362059121

(*)In Turkey we have something called “group collective bargaining”, it is NOT a sectoral agreement actually it is a group of company agreements which are negotiated jointly for some number of workplaces between Metal Employers’ Union and unions in the sector

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ITUC: Repression of DISK Leaders

Honourable Prime Minister Erdoğan

We received news that on 21 April, police violently intervened to break up a trade union meeting which was scheduled to plan for its annual May Day activities at Taksim Square. Indeed, police fired tear gas into the hotel where the meeting was taking place, causing some to be hospitalized. Twelve union officers, including presidents and general secretaries of DISK affiliated unions, were detained in the process. We are deeply concerned that this is just a preview of further repression to come.

Indeed, I was at Taksim Square for the 2013 May Day celebrations and saw peaceful demonstrators tear gassed, beaten and hosed by water cannons by the police. The brutality of the attack was shocking and indeed many trade unionists were injured, some badly.

As you know, the International Labour Organisation has underscored the importance of May Day to trade unions, and the right of trade unions to carry out activities on this day. As the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association has explained, “The right to organize public meetings and processions, particularly on the occasion of May Day, constitutes an important aspect of trade union rights.” Further, the European Court of Human Rights
ruled that the Government of Turkey violated Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concerning the right to freedom of association, when it used repressive measures against members of DISK and KESK to prevent the 2008 May Day rally in Taksim Square.

On behalf of the 176 million members of the International Trade Union Confederation
(ITUC), I write to strongly condemn the police raid and call for your assurances that trade
unions will be able to celebrate May Day on Taksim Square without any interference from
the police.

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Official Translation of “Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Law”

You can reach official translation of the new “Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Law” here.

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Metalworkers Anger in Renault and Arçelik towards Yellow Union

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