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Oil workers battle against restructuring of Turkish Petroleum

5 January, 2017Oil workers in Turkey were forced to call off a press conference and demonstration against plans to restructure Turkish Petroleum, following a ban by the Government. 

The protest, organized by IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate Petrol-Is (the oil, chemical and rubber workers’ union) with participation from Turkish Petroleum workers, was due to take place in front of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources on 26 December but the government used the country’s current state of emergency to prevent it from going head.

Security forces also stopped workers in Adiyaman, Batman and Lüleburgaz to travel to Ankara to join the demonstration.

Turkish Petroleum is a national oil company involved in upstream sectors, namely exploration, drilling, well completion and production.

According to the plan developed by the Ministry of Energy, the Government wants to transfer some Turkish Petroleum activities to another 100 per cent state-owned company called Turkish Petroleum International Company (TPIC), which is headquartered in an offshore tax haven.

Petrol-Is believes such a transfer of activities would impact negatively on employment by increasing precariousness. The union insists on securing and developing Turkish Petroleum for the benefit of the employees and the public.

“Our 3,200 members at Turkish Petroleum have made an immense contribution to the development of the company,” said General President of Petrol-Is, Ali Ufuk Yaşar. “We will continue to struggle to keep the company as it is, and never allow such a plan to be implemented.”

IndustriALL’s Assistant General Secretary, Kemal Özkan, said:  

“Oil workers have a great tradition of struggle in Turkey. IndustriALL Global Union will give every support its affiliate Petrol-Is in this fight.”

In the meantime, Petrol-Is re-organized several press conferences, which took place at its premises in Ankara, Batman, Adiyaman and Lüleburgaz.