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Turkish and Canadian workers together call on Crown to stop busting

22 October, 2013The global campaign against Crown Holdings over its anti-labor practices continues with a demonstration held in front of the company’s facility located at Kartepe, Izmit in Turkey on 21 October following the ones in the US and Switzerland. Hosted by Birleşik Metal-İş and attended by the USW, the action raised common voice of Turkish and Canadian workers.

IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliate United Metalworkers’ Union (Birlesik Metal-Is) launched an organizing campaign at Crown operations in Turkey last year. After many difficulties in recruitment period, in November 2012 Ministry of Labour issued a certificate making the union eligible for collective bargaining negotiations.

As it is widely used tactic by employers in Turkey in order to destroy union organizing, Crown Holdings immediately challenged this certification at the local labour court by stalling the process since this kind of cases in Turkey last long periods.

Later, the local court finalized the judiciary process in the first half of this year by ruling valid the certificate issued by the Ministry of Labour in favour of Birlesik Metal-Is. However, the company management took the verdict of the local court to the Court of Cassation in Ankara. Turkish Crown workers cannot enjoy their fundamental rights for around two years. In the meantime, independent audits made at Crown operations have exposed violations of fundamental rights.

“In spite of all pressure and intimidation by Crown management, workers have chosen to have a union and the Ministry of Labour recognized Birlesik Metal-Is as the authorized union which Crown cannot pretend not to see,” said Adnan Serdaroglu, President of the Turkish Union. “Even though Crown tries to stall our bargaining process using anti-labour legislation, we do believe that workers will win, not just here in Turkey, but also in Canada and elsewhere in the world”.

“As a striking worker since the beginning of September, I am proud to see such worldwide actions,” said Mike Cruttenden, USW, who attended the demonstration in Baar, Switzerland on 18 October. “Crown management must hear this rising voice of the workers worldwide.”

“We congratulate our affiliates USW and Birlesik Metal-Is for their solidarity and joint actions against Crown Holdings” said Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary. “IndustriALL Global Union will go forward with such actions worldwide until our members win.”