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Rights abuses at Turkish auto parts company

4 April, 2008Bosal workers pressured to join company-supported union.

TURKEY: Birleşik Metal-Is members at Bosal Mimaysan who fought hard for union representation two years ago are again facing attacks by local management who are pressuring workers to resign from their union and join the company-supported union, Turk Metal.

Birleşik Metal-Is , an affiliate of the International Metalworkers' Federation, reports that for the past three months local management at the plant has harassed and coerced workers to leave Birleşik Metal-Is and join Turk Metal. In January, Birleşik Metal-Is members occupied facilities in protest of this harassment and in defence of their fundamental rights including representation by the union of their choice. Discussions between Birleşik Metal-Is and Bosal Group Human Resources in Istanbul on March 22 failed to bring a resolution to these violations.

In recent days, Turk Metal buses have been stationed outside the plant in an effort to further intimidate workers. Under Turkish law, unions must seek authorisation every two years. It is clear that local management is using intimidation tactics to undermine the re-authorisation of Birleşik Metal-Is, which will take place on April 5.

"Local management's actions are in direct violation of a worker's right to freedom of association guaranteed by Turkish law and the International Labour Organisation's Convention 87 ratified by Turkey," said Marcello Malentacchi, IMF general secretary in a letter to Bosal management. "As a signatory of the UN Global Compact, your company is committed to ensuring that the workers in its plants have the right to be represented by the union of their choice free from threats and retribution."

Bosal Mimaysan, an auto parts producer,  is a supplier to major automotive companies. Many of these companies are signatories of agreements with the IMF that commit them to fully respect worker and trade union rights and to ensure decent terms and safe conditions of work in their own operations and those of their suppliers.

The IMF is asking affiliates to send letters of solidarity to Birleşik Metal-Is and to voice their concern to Bosal management.

To send letters to Birleşik Metal-Is:

To send letters to Bosal management:

Please keep the IMF informed of all actions taken on behalf of Bosal Mimaysan workers, send copies of letters to: [email protected]