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Global solidarity ensures union at auto supplier in Turkey

28 February, 2013Global solidarity support and 3 Global Framework Agreements assisted Birlesik Metal Is in securing union recognition at Fontana Pietro, an auto supplier plant in Turkey.

Following intervention by the companies to whom Fontana Pietro supplies dies, local company management has relinquished its court case in which it was challenging the legal certification of the union by the Ministry of Labour. Birlesik Metal-Is now expects to start collective bargaining negotiations once bureaucratic procedures are completed.

Birlesik Metal Is, an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union, organized the majority of workers at the Fontana Pietro plant in Tuzla, Turkey and received legal certification of its majority status in August 2012 as required by Turkish labour laws.

Soon after, Fontana Pietro, an Italian-based company that specializes in engineering, making dies and stamping steel and aluminium for the auto sector, began a systematic campaign to harass the union members, including dismissals, and challenged the union’s legal recognition in court.

According to the terms of the Global Framework Agreements signed with IndustriALL Global Union and Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, the auto companies agree to fundamental rights at work including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and that these rights should also be observed by supplier companies.

IndustriALL Global Union reported to the Works Councils of VW, Daimler and BMW about the violations taking place at Fontana Pietro and asked the companies to intervene based on the terms of the Global Framework Agreement.

FIM-CISL and FIOM-CGIL, Italian unions affiliated to IndustriALL that has members at Fontana Pietro plants in Italy, met with the company management in late 2012 in an effort to solve the issue. At the time, the management at head quarters in Italy refused to intervene on the basis that it was up to local management.

“Global solidarity, global framework agreements and the strength of the union in Turkey has forced Fontana Pietro management to finally accept fundamental rights at work and recognize Birlesik Metal Is,” said Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.