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Continued union-busting by Deva Holding in Turkey

31 July, 2014As part of continuous union-busting, pharmaceutical company Deva Holding in Turkey, subsidiary of UK-based East Pharma, has fired eight workers since June, simply because they chose to join a union.

The eight workers were fired when joining IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Petrol-Is. They were exercising their legitimate fundamental rights of freedom of association, guaranteed by international labour conventions of the ILO, as well as Turkey’s Constitution and national trade union legislation. After the dismissed workers staged protest outside the plant gates and Petrol-Is has gained nationwide media coverage, the situation is still in a deadlock.

Petrol-Is was a bargaining partner at Deva operations. However, the last four years have seen a deterioration of labour relations and the recent dismissals are part of Deva’s anti-union policies. Management has used different tactics to demolish a 40-year-long union existence, contractual labour relations and mature social dialogue at Deva Holding plants located in the towns of Çerkezköy, Kartepe and Topkapı area of Istanbul.

During this time, management has announced that there will no longer be a collective agreement using the pretext of high production costs and government’s policies in the pharmaceutical industry. They exerted pressure on workers to sign individual labour contracts in place of the collective agreement and then dismissed 74 employees because they had refused to sign individual contracts.

IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan says:

The workers have a legitimate and legal right to choose their unions freely. IndustriALL urges management at Deva Holdings to immediately re-instate the eight dismissed union members; withdraw all pressure exerted over the union members; and enter into constructive dialogue with Petrol-Is.