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Yves Rocher workers stand strong after 200 days of resistance

30 November, 2018As winter approaches, workers mark day 200 of their picket at the Yves Rocher-owned Flormar factory in Gebze, Turkey.

Earlier this year, 132 workers were fired for joining the Petrol-İş union. The fired workers come to work every morning, and stay on the picket line until the end of the second shift.

Politicians, journalists, trade unionists, community members and artists have been visiting them on the picket line, and their determination to resist is strong. The workers have collected book donations for a resistance library, and they are passing the time reading.

There has been a global campaign, including a visit to company headquarters in Paris.

The struggle has had prominent coverage on television and radio, and in October a delegation of workers made a statement in the Turkish parliament at the invitation of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

On 23 October a large solidarity event was held, with hundreds of people coming to show their support.

Winter is coming. It is cold on the picket line, and the workers need heat and shelter. They made a fire in a brazier and erected a tent to provide shelter from the rain, cold and snow, which is expected in the near future. But on 19 November, the district governor banned the fire, tent and use of megaphones. The picket area has been controlled by riot police for the past few months.

IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan said:

“The spirit and resistance of these workers is an inspiration to all of us. They will not give up, and we will continue to stand with them.

“Yves Rocher, you have seen their strength and determination. They will not be defeated. It is time for you to give them their jobs back, and recognize the union.”

A series of actions in support of the Turkish workers is being organized by IndustriALL’s French affiliate the FCE-CFDT.

Flormar is a Turkish cosmetics brand, majority owned by Yves Rocher, that has its primary market in the Middle East and Asia.

  • Follow the Flormar workers' Facebook page and leave them a message of support