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Kimberly Clark workers in Turkey on strike

27 June, 2014Around 230 members of IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate Tümka-İş, the All Paper & Cellulose Industry Workers' Union, have gone on strike for better wages and working conditions.

The members of Tümka-İş, belonging to the DISK national center, started their strike after midnight of 25 June in the plant located in Pendik, Istanbul. Members were pushed into striking since negotiations for a plant level collective agreement failed after local management of Kimberly Clark refused to meet demands of the workers.

Major demands of the striking workers are proper wage increases, particularly for those who earn just slightly higher than the national minimum, and sufficient notice payment in order to get job security. The latter is important since the company premises will be re-located to another city within the next couple of years.

All the union members fully participate in the strike. Some of the strikers have worked at the plant more than twenty years, and most of the workers complain about bad working conditions, long working hours, as much as 12 hours a day, making a work-life balance impossible.

“As Kimberly Clark has not been responsive to our legitimate demands, strike was the only option“ said Ergün Tavaşanoğlu, General President of Tümka-İş. “We need the support and solidarity of IndustriALL Global Union members around the world to overcome the challenge we have.“

The Turkish subsidiary of the American-based company produces diapers, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, paper towels in the plant in Pendik with the well-known brands Huggies and Kotex.