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Egger Group continues union busting at its Turkish plant

12 March, 2015The Turkish subsidiary of Austrian-based building materials company, Egger Group, is continuing its union busting tactics and dismissals at its Roma Plastik plant in Gebze. 

When IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate, Lastik-Is, began to successfully organize the majority of the workforce at Roma Plastik at the end of last year, local management reacted by dismissing union members. A total of 14 people have been sacked so far.

Furthermore, local management carries on threatening workers with dismissals and punishments if they join the union. If union members leave Lastik-Is, Roma Plastik says they will be awarded with an extra bonus equivalent to three-months’ salary.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security has issued an official certificate confirming that Lastik-Is has the sufficient legal majority to make the union eligible as a bargaining party at Roma Plastik.

In a letter to the company chairman, Michael Egger, in Austria, IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said:

“I urge you to use your authority over the local management of Roma Plastik to immediately withdraw from any kind of pressure over the union members in their free choice of trade union membership, and enter into a meaningful dialogue with Lastik-Is to establish fair labour relations and working conditions.”

In response, central management claimed that it is a local matter not related to Egger Group’s headquarters in Tirol, Austria. For IndustriALL, this answer is not credible.

Lastik-Is continues its actions at the plant while IndustriALL and its Austrian affiliate, PRO-GE, in cooperation with the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) and its affiliate GBH, keep pressing Egger Group to reinstate the dismissed workers and recognize Lastik-Is.

“If Egger Group insists on ignoring the labour violations in Turkey, we will escalate our campaign by reaching out to their customers in the construction sector,” said Kemal Özkan, Assistant General Secretary at IndustriALL.