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Turkish Glass Workers Reach Two-year Accord on Eve of Strike

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16 June, 2008

ICEM Turkish affiliate Kristal-İş and the country’s Glass, Cement, and Soil Industry Employers’ Association came to terms on a 2008-2009 sector-wide collective agreement, covering 6,000 glass workers. The settlement occurred on 2 June, a day prior to the strike date set by the union’s Executive Committee.

The new contract gives workers a 13% pay increase in 2008, with a 2009 wage hike to equal the Turkish rate of inflation in 2008. Additionally, all social benefits will be adjusted upward, ranging from 15% to 66%.

The new wage adjustment means the base average salaries for glass workers in Turkey rises to YTL 1,678-per-month, or €890 or US$1,364. Kristal-İş also won a new wage system in which the minimum salary for new hires was dramatically improved.

The new two-year labour agreement covers workers at 11 plant sites operated by glassware companies Paşabahçe, Trakya Cam, Anadolu Cam, and Cam Elyaf. All are entities of the Siscam Group, the fast-growing glasswares multinational that has factories in Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia, and Georgia.

The Kristal-İş Executive Committee decided on 9 May to take strike action and later in May, set a 3 June date for a sector-wide glass strike.