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Demand reinstatement of union members at Togo Footwear in Turkey

26.07.2012

Act now and send a message to Togo Footwear demanding the reinstatement of 35 workers dismissed for joining Deri-Is (Leather Workers’ Union of Turkey).

35 workers dismissed for joining a union started a picket line on 1 May at Togo Footwear in Ankara, Turkey. The workers are demanding reinstatement by the company and authorization from the Labour Ministry to start collective bargaining at the workplace.

Today Labour Start and IndustriALL Global Union have started an online campaign in support of the workers and we urge you to act now and send a message to Turkish Labour Minister Çelik, Mr. Ahmet Kuşgöz demanding reinstatement and collective bargaining.

12,000 signatures were collected by workers in Ankara and presented to Ministry on 19 July. Additionally, IndustriALL Global Union has written to the company and the government supporting the workers demands. 

In a letter to the Minister urging him to find a just solution to the problem Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union writes, “the lack of authorization papers makes it impossible for workers to fully enjoy their trade union rights, which are enshrined in international conventions that have been ratified by Turkey”.

In April Deri-Is organized the majority of the workers at Togo Footwear, located in Ankara, just 3 kilometres away from the Ministry of Labour. As soon as management heard about the union organizing activity, 35 union members were dismissed at the beginning of May. 

The dismissed workers are still outside the plant and are under massive and regular attacks, pressure and intimidation by security forces. Since May, the workers have been arrested three times. The Ministry has not issued authorization papers for initiation of the collective bargaining process, since the beginning of this year arguing that there is no legal base to do so. The lack of authorization papers makes it impossible for workers to fully enjoy their trade union rights.