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DIAM sacks 80 Turkish union members by text message

22 June, 2017French-based multinational “merchandising solutions” company DIAM sacked 80 union members at its plant in Turkey after an organizing drive.

“It is understood that you joined the illegal strike in the workplace for 7-9 days. You stopped working. You tried to persuade other workers to stop work. You violated their freedom to work. Because of your these illegal actions, your work contract was terminated on 15.06.2017.”

This is the sinister text message sent by DIAM, sacking union members at its Turkish factory which produces showcases for well-known brands.

Workers took strike action after their colleagues were dismissed during an organizing drive by IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Birleşik Metal-İş.

As has become common in Turkey, Birleşik Metal-İş organized workers and received a majority certificate from the Ministry of Labour, recognizing its right to represent workers. Instead of negotiating with the workers’ representatives, DIAM’s Turkish subsidiary, Diam Vitrin Tasarım Hizmetleri Ambalaj San. Tic. Ltd. Şti, fired five union leaders.

IndustriALL Global Union and industriAll Europe wrote to the parent company in France, calling on them to ensure their subsidiary recognize core ILO standards on the right to organize, and to reinstate the sacked workers.

Instead, the company fired a further ten workers, and challenged the majority certificate in court. When workers took strike action to protest the sackings, they were fired by text message.

DIAM is a multinational company that specializes in producing point of sale and merchandizing displays for the cosmetics industry. Its clients include Chanel, Cartier, Calvin Klein, Clinique, Dior, Estée Lauder, Dolce Gabana, Gucci, Givenchy, Maybelline, Guerlain, Lancôme, Louis Vuitton and Valentina.

The Turkish factory produces mainly for L'Oreal and Dior.

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan said:

“It has become common for multinationals producing for the European market to source production in Turkey, because of its proximity to the EU and manufacturing standards.

“It has also become common for these companies to respect labour rights in their home countries, but participate in brutal repression in Turkey. They are outsourcing the repression of trade unions, with the complicity of an anti-union government.

“We will not tolerate this. IndustriALL will target the brands whose products are produced by DIAM in Turkey, and expose the repression of trade union members.”