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Turkish glass workers striking for better pay

23 June, 2014Around 6,000 workers at Turkey’s biggest glass producer, Sisecam, went on strike at ten of the company’s factories after wage negotiations fell short of expectations.

After months of collective bargaining, IndustriALL Global Union’s Turkish affiliate Kristal-Is, representing Sisecam Company workers, called a strike on 20 June 2014.

The strike was announced in reply to the poor offer of the top glass producer of the world suggesting 11.79 per cent hike, barely reaching the half of 23.12 per cent increase demanded by the union.

Kristal-Is wants to improve wages for lower paid and newly employed workers. So far the company has refused to meet workers’ demands preferring to face a strike, which has already paralysed Sisecam production in six provinces of the country.

The plants affected by the strike include Trakya Cam factories in Thrace and Mersin provinces, Trakaya Yenisehir Cam factory in Bursa province and three Pasabahce factories in Kirklareli, Eskisehir and Mersin, as well as a fibreglass plant Cam Elyaf in Kocaeli.

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary, who visited the strikers, expressed the support of the 50 million member strong family of IndustriALL to their brothers and sisters in Turkey.

Özkan said, “IndustriALL is fully supporting your strike for fair wages and better working conditions for all workers. We have called on all our affiliates, particularly in the glass sector, to demonstrate their support and solidarity with Kristal-Is.”