ITGLWF Intervenes in Turkish Disputes
The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation has intervened in two labour disputes in Turkey following requests from Turkish affiliate Deri-Is, a leather workers’ union.
The General Secretary of the Global Union Federation travelled to Turkey recently to meet with the leadership of Deri – Is to discuss two cases involving the sacking or victimisation of workers for exercising their right to join a trade union.
Speaking on his return to Brussels Klaus Priegnitz, General Secretary of the ITGLWF, said “These two cases highlight the length to which Turkish employers are willing to go to prevent workers from exercising their fundamental right to unionise. On the one hand we have an employer that has continually failed to abide by agreements negotiated with the union following the sacking of 38 unionised workers in 2008. On the other hand we have an employer that has tried to shake off the union and its obligations to workers by constantly shifting the site of production in the hope that workers and unions will simply give up.”
“However, the message that the employers must understand is that unions will continue to organise and fight for the rights of their members no matter the circumstances or the barriers placed in front of them. The ITGLWF will continue to support the efforts of its members to achieve decent work and will use all available means to assist our members.”
“Following the ITGLWF’s visit to Turkey management at DESA and the leadership of Deri-Is have now agreed to begin negotiations on steps to ensure basic worker rights are respected. Management have also been given three weeks to respond to the unions proposals on how to overcome barriers to freedom of association. We are hopeful that the employer will continue to engage with the union in good faith”
Eren Korkmaz, Director of International Relations at Deri-Is has called for more international solidarity and support for the workers “Solidarity letters, applications to Turkish Government, Employers' Associations, Municipalities, CHP and AKP, ILO, sending delegations would be effective.”
Date: 15 November 2011