The workers at Turan Plastik San. ve Tic. A.Ş., established on the European side of Istanbul, became members of our union. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Labor and official certificate was sent to our union on 10 March 2021. Then the collective agreement proposal prepared by our union with our members was sent to the employer.
Turan Plastik employer dismissed 6 union members, including our union’s chief representative, who has legal assurance, and threatened workers forcing them resign from our union. After the employer, disregarding fundamental worker rights, did not respond to the calls of our union, our union decided to strike at Turan Plastik on 15 June 2021.
Our union’s President Alaaddin Sarı, conveyed Turan Plastik’s illegal and aggressive attitude to our international parent organization IndustriALL Global Union. On 15 June 2021, IndustriALL sent a letter to Turan Plastik employer calling on to respect fundamental workers’ rights, re-instate the dismissed union members and enter into good-faith negotiations with our union. In addition, a letter was sent by IndustrALL Global Union to Turan Plastik’s major customers and business partners calling on to conduct a Due Diligence process over trade union rights’ violations at Turan Plastik on 18 June 2021.
I am writing this letter to you on behalf of IndustriALL Global Union, representing more than fifty million workers in the manufacturing supply chain, including the packaging sector, to urge Turan Plastik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. to respect fundamental workers’ rights, re-instate the dismissed union members and enter good-faith negotiations with Lastik-İş. Please note that Lastik-İş (Petroleum, Chemical and Rubber Industry Workers’ Union of Turkey) is one of the affiliates of IndustriALL Global Union in Turkey.
IndustriALL Global Union is aware of the ongoing unionisation activity conducted by our affiliate Lastik-İş at the production facility of Turan Plastik in the European side of Istanbul. The majority of workers at the plant exercised their fundamental right to join a union, which is guaranteed by national labour law and international core labour standards, and thus became members of Lastik-İş.
The Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security issued an official certificate dated 01 February 2021 confirming that Lastik-İş has a sufficient majority to be able to become a bargaining partner. On 10 March 2021, the final collective bargaining certificate was sent to the parties.
We are outraged to hear that after having received a charter of demands from Lastik-Is, your management has acted aggressively against the workers, punishing them —including systematic intimidation and threats— for joining Lastik-İş. Union members are forced to resign from our affiliate Lastik-İş. We are further outraged to learn that your management has dismissed six union members, including officially appointed chief trade union representative.
In the meantime, your management insists on not attending the bargaining sessions, thus demonstrating your clear will to keep wages and working conditions as low as possible, nor answers any calls coming from Lastik-Is. This is why the union has decided to go on strike in the coming days.
The overall situation at Turan Plastik is unacceptable.
The behaviour of Turan Plastik constitutes a blatant violation of Turkish labour law as well as fundamental international labour standards, including Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, and Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Article 51 of the Turkish Constitution states that “employees have the right to form labour unions, without obtaining permission, and they also possess the right to become a member of a union and to freely withdraw from membership, in order to safeguard and develop their economic and social rights and the interests of their members in their labour relations. No one shall be forced to become a member of a union or to withdraw from membership.”
Likewise, Article 17 of Law 6356 reads, “any person who completes 15 years of age and who is considered as a worker in accordance with the provisions of this Law may join a workers’ trade union.”
International labour standards enshrine the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively through the trade union of their choice. It is important to note that your major customers adhere to these basic principles.
Therefore, we urge Turan Plastik to respect fundamental workers’ rights, in line with national and international labour laws, reinstate the unfairly dismissed six union members, and engage in good faith negotiations with Lastik-İş.
We truly hope that Turan Plastik will take immediate corrective measures, and that, as a result, it will not be necessary for IndustriALL Global Union to take any further action, particularly vis-à-vis your main customers.
I anticipate your swift response and action.
IndustriALL Global Union