Metal strikes in Turkey

137 posts / 0 new
Last post
Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
May 16 2015 13:55
Metal strikes in Turkey

http://m.bianet.org/bianet/toplum/164581-renault-iscisi-hicbir-sendikayi...

Headline reads 'Renault workers: We don't want any unions we have set up workers councils'.

A piece in English from an Islamicist daily is here: http://todayszaman.com/business_protests-halt-production-at-turkish-car-...

Devrim

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 16 2015 15:59

Apparently also TOFAS (another auto firm) workers joined the strike to support their Renault workers.

Also Nationalist union (TURK-IS) in charge of the factory did nothing but try to make workers to agree to demands of the international company that owns the factory. So yesterday workers had enough of this and kicked the union representatative

I will post updates hopefully

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 16 2015 16:10

http://capul.tv/isciler-turk-metale-8-saniye-dayanabildi/

Well I could not watch it on phone but apparently workers could stand the Turk Metal union (part of Turk-is union federation) only like 8 seconds then They shouted "go away" and "resign".

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 17 2015 19:11

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/Default.aspx?pageID=238&nID=82537&NewsC...
Another report from mainstream media.

mikail firtinaci's picture
mikail firtinaci
Offline
Joined: 16-12-06
May 18 2015 08:28

Workers in the biggest auto-industry town (Bursa) are massively resigning from their union, forming spontaneous strike committees and organized a wildcat strike. So far about 10.000 workers are reported to resign from the union (Turk Metal-Is a mafia like right wing union). Their demands are wage increases and recognition of their strike committees.

I will soon write a more in depth report.

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 18 2015 09:21

The strike started in Renault factory and jumped to Tofas to Coskunoz factories as well. And today morning workers in Mako factory stopped production and according to news it is rumored that Valeo workers will join Wednesday.

Their current demands are:
*Improvement is wages
*Recognition of worker's representatives (choosen by workers not union)
*A guarantee that nobody will be fired
*Withdraw of Turk Metal Union from the factories.

Source: http://www.radikal.com.tr/ekonomi/bursada_bir_fabrika_daha_durdu-1360236

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
May 18 2015 09:36

Turk Metal-Is is part of Türk-İş?

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
May 18 2015 10:07
Entdinglichung wrote:
Turk Metal-Is is part of Türk-İş?

Yes,

Devrim

nokta
Offline
Joined: 4-02-15
May 18 2015 10:14

More videos: https://communismeouvrier.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/videos-greve-des-ouvr...

Some information in German:
http://www.labournet.de/internationales/tuerkei/arbeitskaempfe-tuerkei/i...

http://www.labournet.de/internationales/tuerkei/arbeitskaempfe-tuerkei/e...

It says that a lot of workers have left their union (Türk Metal?). What is Metal İşçileri Birliği? They seem to be very active in this struggle: https://www.facebook.com/metaliscileribirligi.mib

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 18 2015 10:37

Some general very basic info:

There are three big union federations in Turkey
1) DISK Left wing -actually a social democratic- union federation
2)TURK-IS this is the biggest union federation. It has the most members it is nationalistic and very bad union overall in every aspect.
3) HAK-IS this is the islamic union close to government. This is getting bigger thanks to government and it is also right wing and bad.
The member unions of these federations of course more or less represent the ideology and political line of their federations.

Now Turk Metal Union is the a union active in metal workers and it is part of the TURK-IS.

The laws are very restrictive for independent union activity. If I know correctly first of to be able to represent and have any legal say on things at least 10% of the workers in a workplace should be member of your union. (well I guess you also need some sort of 10% in the sector but let's leave it aside) Moreover if there are two unions active in a factory the one with the majority has the right to negotiate with the owners. So this is why (I think) Turk Metal did the negotiations with the company. However as they did not pushed for nothing, workers now disillusioned about them. Turk Metal now threatens the workers to end the wildcat strike otherwise they will be losing side.

Apparently at the start of the all issue there were two factories connected the same transnational company ok? However I am not sure why but one of them get an increase in wages the other factory did not. so this caused an inequality, worker's in one factory doing the same thing get better wages and the workers in the other low wages. The original deal was to equalize these to at the higher wage level. However Turk-is did not really cared about workers and did not pushed in the negotiations about it. So the fight escalated.

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 18 2015 11:58

http://www.radikal.com.tr/ekonomi/isci_kararli_tofas_zararli-1360435
Currently 15.600 workers are on a wildcat strike in four different factories.

Ed's picture
Ed
Offline
Joined: 1-10-03
May 19 2015 21:03

Anymore updates on this? Trying to follow on twitter.. seems really exciting..

Jamal's picture
Jamal
Offline
Joined: 14-04-15
May 20 2015 02:08

Same question. Following closely.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
May 20 2015 08:39

BGN: Ford halts production in Turkey due to Renault, Fiat labor strikes

Quote:
In a statement to the public disclosure platform (KAP), Ford Otosan -a joint venture between Koç Holding and Ford - expressed that the strikes at the Fiat and Renault plants had prevented vital vehicle parts from being delivered, causing the company to temporary close two production facilities in Kocaeli western Turkey, starting on Wednesday.
.
The company stated that production would resume once the parts delivery crisis was resolved.
.
Laborers have been on strike in Fiat and Renault factories in Bursa province since last week over employment conditions.
.
Protests began on late Thursday at Turkey's largest car factory, run by Oyak Renault, a joint venture between the French automaker and the Turkish army pension fund Oyak, in the northwest city of Bursa.
.
On Friday, workers at Tofaş, a joint venture between Italy's Fiat and Turkey's Koç Holding, staged their own protest, stopping the assembly line at their plant, also located in Bursa, local media said.

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
May 20 2015 08:57
Quote:
According to the list of the top 1,000 exporters of 2014 announced by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) on May 18, Oyak Renault is in third place while Tofaş is seventh. Together, the two automakers account for more than 40 percent of Turkey’s annual car output, according to industry data. Around 80 percent of their production is for export markets.

HDN: Turkish labor protest continues over wage dispute

What the % of production is when you throw in Ford as well, I haven't found yet. In relation to the 80% export focus, I want to add a slightly sideways connection to a news story last week about the new Customs Code which basically makes it legal to bring suitcases full of cash, especially foreign cash, into Turkey, no questions asked.

Quote:
Note two intertwined issues: First is the stark ebb and flow of “net errors and omissions.” In the last seven years, there have been significant levels of unexplained cash from unidentified sources flowing into the Turkish economy. Second is the high level of Turkey’s external debt (which is a sum of public and private debt, where public debt is miniscule compared to that of private). In order to be able to meet the payment deadlines, there is an urgent need for cash. All pundits Al-Monitor spoke to agree that the urgent need for cash is the motive for the new Customs Code.

AM: No questions asked about Turkey's suitcases full of cash

So the timing of this action - two and a half weeks before the general election - and the underlying balance of payments forex cash crisis, means that this dispute in a significant exporting industry appears politically charged.

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 20 2015 13:28

http://direnisteyiz.net/haber/metal-iscilerinin-direnisi-buyuyor-ototrim...
According to this Ototrim, Delphi and Valeo factories will support the strike,(so now the total is 7) starting from tomorrow.

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 20 2015 15:37

http://www.kesinbilgi16.com/haber/renault-ve-tofasta-polis-mudahaleye-ha...
The riot cops are gathering around Renault and Tofas factories. Cops said "if you wont get of the factory we will intervene".

rooieravotr
Offline
Joined: 28-10-09
May 20 2015 17:51

On In Defense of Marxism, a Trotskyist website: http://www.marxist.com/video-turkish-metal-workers-strike.htm Some background, some video, and the news that workers started strike action in Izmit.

Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
May 20 2015 21:56

Here's our leaflet.

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 21 2015 06:33

http://m.radikal.com.tr/ekonomi/metal_iscisine_bir_iyi_bir_kotu_haber-13...
the strike jumped to Ankara yesterday night. There is now eight factories I guess

3RDForm
Offline
Joined: 21-05-15
May 21 2015 08:01

iyi sabahlar yoldaşlar. Ben burada yeniyim. Londrada yeralan bir Sol Komünistim. İngiltereden bir kaç yoldaşım ve arkadaşlar işçilere bağış da bulunmak istiyorlar. Böyle bir imkanımız var mıdır? çok teşekkürler.

Morning comrades. I'm new here. I'm a left communist residing in London. A few comrades and friends in England are wondering whether there is any way to donate to the strike fund? Many thanks and in solidarity.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
May 21 2015 10:10

http://en.uidder.org/metal_workers_shake_the_ground.htm

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 21 2015 10:54

http://www.radikal.com.tr/ekonomi/isveren_600_lira_onerdi_renault_iscisi...
1) The company offered workers to pay extra 600 Turkish lira now and six months later. If they start to work again. It is declined
2) Coskunoz workers started to work again. This is a bit bad news.
3) (this is not from the news) The worker representatives (the real ones not the union ones) were called by courts to make their statements yesterday. So legal system is now getting active to protect the order apparently. Worker's were not discouraged or anything though (I heard).
4) http://www.evrensel.net/haber/113284/turk-traktor-dur-kalk-ilerliyor
Also apparently in Ankara there is not a full strike but a situation of -starting then stoping of production- is happening. So I guess there is no direct strike and all workers have not agreed to do so yet.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
May 21 2015 11:27

according to http://www.labournet.de/branchen/auto/auto-international/nach-einer-woch... (in German), 11 activists have been arrested by the cops

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 21 2015 12:46

http://www.sendika.org/2015/05/metal-iscileri-birligine-polis-operasyonu...
Yeah Entdinglichung is true. 11 members of "Metal Worker's Union" is arrested at their homes by cops in charges of terrorism and provocation. according to the news at least some of them were members of a leftist group "red flag".

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
May 21 2015 13:46

is that the "Communist Workers Party of Turkey"?

kurekmurek
Offline
Joined: 15-11-07
May 21 2015 13:52

Yes One of the arrested was head of their magazine "Red Flag" (Tayfun Altıntaş). I suppose some others might also members of it (or maybe other left organizations)

M.A.R.S.
Offline
Joined: 18-02-15
May 21 2015 21:37

Metal İşçi Birliği and Kızıl Bayrak (Red Flag) are Stalinist outfits that have been working closely with the striking workers in Bursa. They should be absolutely defended against the state, however comrades have suggested that it is a bit of an adventuristic ploy in order to boost their popularity.

As already noted by several commenters, the resistance is not against unions in general, but against the Coup-era trade union, Türk Metal whose thuggish tactics have pressured many of the workers at the Renault plant to not seek out other unions in support. It is doubtful that police repression will come to Gezi-like proportions (or even anything somewhat short of that) as it election season is winding down with two weeks to go and it would be politically suicidal for Bursa officials to support mass arrests and beat-downs of workers.

Demirtaş, co-chair of the HDP, a pro-Kurdish, LGBTQ, Alevi social democratic party, stated today that he supports their causes and calls it "righteous" but again, this might be opportunism more than anything else. After all, the strike is now entering its seventh and it's a bit too late. Not only that, but these workers are in a nationalistic area and may not be entirely receptive to a Kurdish message, but that's just a guess.

Jamal's picture
Jamal
Offline
Joined: 14-04-15
May 22 2015 02:21

Who says we should defend Stalinists? My understanding is they're just as much a part of state capitalism as the cops who have arrested them

M.A.R.S.
Offline
Joined: 18-02-15
May 22 2015 03:05

Jamal, I also don't care for Stalinism in the slightest. But MİB are among the most present groups who have been helping these workers organize and break from their union. Long before this even happened. What would you you say to assembled workers as the police arrest MİB members? That they don't matter, they're state capitalists so what's the difference? How do you think the more advanced layers who have seen them sacrifice and organize, react to such a statement? One needn't abide by their politics to defend them.

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
May 22 2015 04:15

We are against the police arresting workers fighting in defence of their class interests regardless of which party they are from.

Devrim