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Historic union victory in Turkish tyre industry

8 January, 2015After a long struggle, IndustriALL Global Union Turkish affiliate Lastik-Is, representing tyre workers in the country, has persuaded two multinational tyre manufacturers to end out-sourcing of staff and put a total of 1,200 contracted workers on the payroll. 

At the end of 2014, Lastik-Is struck a deal with Brisa, a joint venture between Japanese Bridgestone and Turkish Sabanci Group, leading the company to cancel contracts with six out-sourcing firms. The company also agreed to put all 600 contracted workers on the company payroll from 1 December, putting an end to out-sourcing at Brisa. The new permanent workers have subsequently become members of the union.

Lastik-Is negotiations also led Italian-based Pirelli tyre maker, located in the same town Izmit, to agree to cancel its agreements with 13 contractors employing 600 workers. Following intervention from Lastik-Is, Pirelli has agreed to make all ex-contract workers permanent members of staff. After joining the company, the workers immediately joined the union.

“By saying ‘no’ to out-sourcing in the tyre industry, we have launched a new era in our struggle against precarious work,” said Abdullah Karacan, General President of Lastik-Is. “This important move will contribute to improvement of wages and working conditions of the workers as well as boosting union presence at workplaces.”

Over the years out-sourcing, with lower wages and poorer working conditions in comparison with permanent workers, has become a big threat to union density, collective bargaining and solidarity among permanent and contract workers.

“IndustriALL Global Union salutes and congratulates Lastik-Is for this very important achievement,” said Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan. “This is what we want to do through our global campaign and struggle against precarious work.”