IndustriALL's affiliate United Metalworkers’ Union (Birlesik Metal-Is) today announced a strike in the metal industry for 29 January. The strike will cover around 15,000 workers in some 40 companies in Turkey.
Birlesik Metal-Is has taken the decision after sectorial level negotiations with the Turkish Metal Employers’ Federation (MESS) failed. Offers made were found unacceptable at union mass meetings. The strike decision covers multinational companies such as Schneider, Alstöm, Mahle, Aperam, ABB, Bosal, Bekaert, Delphi Automotive, Federal Mogul, Prysmian, Isuzu.
In its charter at the beginning of the negotiations, Birlesik Metal-Is demanded additional improvement for those with lower wages and newcomers. MESS refused this critical demand and insisted on a three-year agreement which is traditionally for two-year periods. Birlesik Metal-Is found this impossible since the Turkish economy shows instability and a long-term deal would lessen the purchasing power of the members.
In the meantime MESS has signed a collective agreement with the other two metal unions in the sector. Following a mass meeting with all workers at a rally in the town of Gebze, and the general assembly of all the shop-stewards from the companies covered by the negotiations, Birlesik Metal-Is decided to go on strike by standing firm with its initial demands.
During a press conference at the headquarters of DISK, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey to which Birlesik Metal-Is is affiliated nationally, General President Adnan Serdaroglu announced the strike decision.
“We have evaluated all the conditions on the 10 January, and our shop stewards as central bargaining commission members expressed their views not to accept all impositions whatever cost they make and to go on strike.
“We know that what remains from today is those who go for tomorrow, and those who struggle for tomorrow.”
In his message of support and solidarity, IndustriALL’s General Secretary Jyrki Raina says the organization fully supports the strike:
“We salute your decision to strike in your struggle for decent wages and working conditions. We encourage all affiliates to show Birlesik Metal-Is support and solidarity. IndustriALL will continue to do everything in our power to support your struggle.”