The workers at Bozzetto Kimya San. ve Tic. A.Ş., Italian company established İzmir Tire manufacturing textile dyes and chemicals, organized in our union. The official certificate confirming that Bozetto workers became members of our union was notified to the employer and our union by the Ministry of Labor on 31 May 2021.
Bozzetto employer attacked workers and did not recognize the organization and union rights of the workers. The employer put the workers on unpaid leave and dismissed 4 union members for Code 29 and legal entitlements of these members were not even paid. The employer tried to get the workers to resign from our union by threatening them in these ways.
Our union’s President Alaaddin Sarı, conveyed Bozzetto Kimya’s illegal and aggressive attitude to our international parent organization IndustriALL Global Union. On 15 June 2021, IndustriALL sent a letter to Bozzetto Kimya 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 Bozzetto Kimya’s major customers and business partners calling on to conduct a Due Diligence process over trade union rights’ violations at Bozzetto Kimya on 18 June 2021.
Dear Mr. General Manager,
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 chemical sector, to urge Bozzetto Kimya Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. to respect fundamental workers’ rights, re-instate the dismissed union members, and enter into dialogue 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 Bozzetto Kimya in Tire, Izmir. The majority of workers at the plant exercised their fundamental right to join a union, which is guaranteed by the national labour law and international core labour standards, and thus became members of Lastik-İş.
The Turkish Ministry of Labor and Social Security issued an official certificate dated 31 May 2021 confirming that Lastik-İş has a sufficient majority to be able to become a bargaining partner.
We are outraged to hear that your management has acted aggressively against the workers, punishing them —including systematic intimidation and threats— for joining Lastik-İş. Union members have been forced to resign from our affiliate Lastik-İş.
We are further outraged to learn that your management has dismissed four union members, namely Hasan Özen, Mehmet Ali İlkin, Kerim Karaçiçek and Durmuş Yanık. Legal entitlements of the dismissed union members were not even paid. These dismissals have happened at the time when there is a ban on terminations of employment contracts. In addition, it is reported that you have sent two union members to unpaid leave as a form punishment.
The overall situation at Bozzetto Kimya is unacceptable.
The behaviour of Bozzetto Kimya 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 Bozzetto Kimya to respect fundamental workers’ rights, in line with national and international labour laws, reinstate the unfairly dismissed four union members, and engage in a good faith dialogue and negotiations with Lastik-İş.
We truly hope that Bozzetto Kimya 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 also copy this letter to the general secretaries of our Italian affiliated trade unions in order to take the issue to the headquarters of Bozzetto.
I anticipate your swift response and action.
IndustriALL Global Union