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7000 Turkish steel workers on strike

22 July, 2013Last week IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate Celik-Is, Iron, Steel, Metal and Metallic Products Workers' Union, launched a strike in two major steel companies, involving 7000 of its members.

Celik-Is organizes workers at Isdemir, the biggest integrated iron and steel plant of Turkey. Following negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement lasting for more than six months, workers decided last week to go on strike. Celik-Is says that while the union has shown goodwill throughout the negotiations, the intransigent behaviour of the company management has eventually resulted in a strike.

With 5000 out of 5300 workers participating in the strike, the production at the plant has completely stopped. Workers’ families show their support by gathering in front of the factory. Despite obstacles created by the company management, Celik-Is says that the strike will continue until the strikers are given proper job security fair salaries.

At the same time, in the same city, Celik-Is has launched a second strike, involving 1800 of its members at the subsidiary of Russian-based leading steel producer and metals company MMK (Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works).

The workers at MMK joined Celik-Is a short time ago. Following a complicated court and bureaucratic procedure, a collective bargaining certification was finally issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. But with when failing to reach an agreement on the collective bargaining negotiations for better working conditions, Celik-Is’ members went on strike on July 21.

General Secretary Jyrki Raina says in a message to the President of Celik-Is, Ali Cengiz Gül:

“IndustriALL Global Union salutes the strike of 7000 Turkish steel workers who struggle for better working and living conditions, and encourages all its affiliates, particularly in the steel sector, to show solidarity with you”.

Show your support and send your solidarity message to Celik-Is. Please send a copy to IndustriALL Global Union.