Workers at Tümad gold mines in Turkey

The union has signed the first-ever collective agreement in the Turkish gold mining industry.

The Tümad gold mine in Turkey

First-ever collective agreement reached in Turkish gold mining

04.01.2019

IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish mining affiliate Maden-Is has reached a collective bargaining agreement with mining company, Tümad Madencilik, which is the first in the country’s growing gold mining industry.

Covering around 200 workers, the CBA will be valid for a two-year period in 2019-2020 in the operations ok, belonging to a multi-sector conglomerate Nurol Holding. The company is one of the first locally-owned private investors to start up a gold mine in Turkey.

Maden-Is intensified and finalized its recruitment drives at the beginning of 2018 and applied to the Ministry of Labour for certification on February 21. The CBA was signed in the final round of negotiations on 6 December.

With the new agreement, workers are entitled to get decent salaries, overtime and shift payments and social benefits such as education, heating and religious festival bonuses. The agreement also covers substantial provisions on occupational health and safety.

Turkey is the largest gold producer in Europe and the Mediterranean. From 2001 up to 2017, Turkey produced 273 tons of gold with 900 tonnes of proven reserves and 6,500 tons potential. The industry reports that since 2001 around US$ 4 billion was invested in the sector with a direct employment of around 8,000 people.

Although it is not a large producer, Turkey is among the top five largest gold importers globally. Turkey has a demand of 150 tonnes of gold annually and domestic production meets around 15 per cent of it. According to the government data, 350 search licenses have been granted to private investors in the sector, however only one license has become an internationally-classified gold mine.

In the meantime, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing loans to finance the construction, development and operation of two mines in northwestern Turkey – the Lapseki mine in the Çanakkale province and the Ivrindi mine in the Balıkesir province developed and operated by Tümad Madencilik.

Since early 2000s, the gold mining industry has been under the spotlight with its possible impacts on environment and society. Maden-Is union and Tümad work together in developing highest international standards in both occupational health and safety and in environmental and social management.

As part of the concept of “beneficiation”, Tümad’s operations will create new jobs for the local population, and offer training and employment opportunities, which includes teaching mining technology and on-the-job training programs.

“This new agreement signed by Maden-Is with Tümad Madencilik in the gold mining sector turns a new page for the industry in Turkey,” said Kemal Özkan, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.

“IndustriALL Global Union congratulates Maden-Is and Tümad for developing such system of labour relations that benefit all parties”.