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