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Turkey: Striking workers at Mayr-Melnhof demand dignified conditions

11 July, 2018Around 250 workers from IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate, Selüloz-Is, are on strike at factories of packaging company MM Süperpak Ambalaj, a subsidiary of Austrian-based Mayr-Melnhof, after the union rejected management’s offer of a zero per cent wage increase in exchange for employment security.

Selüloz-Is members at MM Süperpak Ambalaj are entering their fourth week of strike action at the company’s operations in Izmir, Karaman and Gaziantep after the union’s demands were not met. 

Before the strike started on 20 June, management made an offer of a zero per cent wage increase in exchange for employment security, and there are 24 contract articles related to wages, benefits, and administrative procedures with which the union disagrees. Nevertheless, the union is committed to finding a solution in bargaining with the employer.

“One of the main disagreements is the method of the salary payment in the collective bargaining agreement. We demand that all the payments should be net but the employer proposes gross payments, especially with salaries,” said Ergin Alsan, General President of Seluloz-Is.

The company has refused to enter into negotiations to solve the conflict.

IndustriALL and affiliates from around the world have demonstrated their solidarity by sending letters of support to the workers on strike at the company’s three operations in Turkey. In its own letter of solidarity, IndustriALL said:

“IndustriALL Global Union fully supports your demands and the industrial action, and we expect the company to return to the negotiating table with your union to find a just solution to the conflict.”

IndustriALL’s assistant general secretary, Kemal Özkan, commented:

“It is shameful for a multinational company to relentlessly propose to its counterpart union to give up all the gained rights. These courageous workers and their union refused to accept this and are fighting back. We are behind them and our solidarity actions will continue until they get a fair contract”.