The workers at Rapro Kimya Turizm Bilişim San. ve Tic. A.Ş., established in İzmir and Manisa, became members of our union. The official certificate was sent by the Ministry of Labor on 6 December 2019. The employer challenged the document at a judiciary process and tried to intimidate the workers and discourage union members by prolonging the process. Rapro Kimya employer unjustly dismissed some workers, forcing many workers to resign by changing their jobs and pressed workers to resign from the union.
Our union’s President Alaaddin Sarı, conveyed Rapro Kimya’s illegal and aggressive attitude to our international parent organization IndustriALL Global Union. On 22 January 2020, IndustriALL sent a letter to Rapro 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 Rapro Kimya’s major customers and business partners calling on to conduct a Due Diligence process over trade union rights’ violations at Rapro Kimya as subsidiary of Gates Corporation on 18 June 2021.
IndustriALL Global Union’s Letter to Major Customers and Busines Partners of Rapro Kimya
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 chemical, to call on you, as major customers and business partners, to conduct a Due Diligence process at the production facilities of Rapro Kimya, as subsidiary of Gates Corporation, in Izmir and Manisa around the company’s violations of fundamental workers’ rights. 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’s affiliate Lastik-İş has made a union recruitment campaign at the facilities of Rapro Kimya in Izmir and Manisa, and the majority of workers at 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 the union.
The Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security confirmed on 06 December 2019 that Lastik-Is had obtained the legal sufficient majority for being eligible to conduct collective bargaining negotiations at Rapro Kimya.
Rather than fulfilling the requirements of the certificate issued by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, company management has challenged the document at the judiciary process claiming that Lastik-Is does not have a sufficient legal majority. This is just a tactic to use the gaps in labour legislation to stall the process of collective bargaining negotiations.
It is outraging that Rapro Kimya management continued to push over the union members to quit the union and 13 union members were dismissed because their union membership.
We find the situation in Rapro Kimya operations unacceptable.
The behaviour of Rapro 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.
Therefore, IndustriALL has urged the Gates Corporation and Rapro Kimya to respect fundamental workers’ rights, to stop pressure over the union members, to re-instate the 13 dismissed workers and engage in good faith dialogue and negotiations with Lastik-Is.
As Gates Corporation and Rapro Kimya have not yet taken corrective measures to address these appalling violations of labour rights, we call on you, as major customers and business partners, to engage in a Due Diligence process at Gates Corporation and Rapro Kimya to ensure that the company abide strictly by national and international labour law.
IndustriALL Global Union, together with its affiliate Lastik-İş, is ready to provide further information and documents through either an email exchange or a virtual meeting.
I anticipate your swift response and action.
IndustriALL Global Union