Turkey: Remarkable achievement for precarious textile workers

21.01.2015

IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate DISK-Tekstil has achieved an unprecedented step forward at Greif Enterprises, an American packaging company, by making more than 1,200 contract workers permanent through an agreement between the union and the company.

DISK-Tekstil have made their struggle against sub-contracting a priority and through their strategic work managed to put an end to the sub-contracting system in place at Greif Enterprises in Turkey.

The sub-contracting system has become prevalent in the industrial and service sectors in Turkey. The informal economy thrives off it; it triggers unfairness in wages; increases social vulnerability; endangers occupational health and safety; and lowers the quality of the product and service,

said Ridvan Budak, General Manager of DISK-Textile Workers’ Union

The struggle against sub-contracting has become one of the primary objectives of our union. With the regulations on our collective labour agreement, we have made progress.

A consulting firm by the name of StratejiCo was called in to carry out research on the internal operations at the four Greif plants. The firm’s findings clearly showed the benefits of making contract workers permanent and further reinforced the union’s demands.

In line with the collective labour agreements signed between DISK-Tekstil and Greif FPS management, they succeeded to resolve the sub-contracting issue at four plants in total, including the two Greif subsidiaries Sunjut and Unsa.

Following the decision between the union and management, an action plan was put into place to facilitate the transition of the contract workers to permanent worker status. As permanent staff of Greif, they will benefit from the collective labour agreement in place.

Facts

In 2010, Greif acquired the top three producers of flexible intermediate bulk containers, and a large regional distributor of the "big bags." Storsack, Unsa and Sunjut, along with Benelux-based distributor Ligtermoet, which make up Greif's Flexible Products & Services business segment. (http://www.greif.com/company/history/)