As soL international reports, metal workers in Turkey have declared that they will not submit to oppression in the hands of capitalist plunderers, as the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) affiliate United Metal Workers’ Union (Birleşik Metal-İŞ) officially announced that they would strike on February 2.
The Head of the United Metal Workers’ Union Adnan Serdaroğlu said that the collective bargaining of the metal workers encompassed 180.000 workers and 180 workplaces affiliated to three trade unions in Turkey.
Stating that Turkey's Metal Industrialists Union (MESS)’s offer is unacceptable, Serdaroğlu announced that metal workers would go on strike on February 2, 2018.
The United Metal Workers’ Union also underlined that a possible ban on the workers’ strike that would be imposed by the Turkish government would not be respected.
The pro-capitalist ‘union’ MESS’s unacceptable offer to the metal workers included a 3-year validity period for the contract and a 6.4% wage increase. This offer was rejected by workers and labour unions on January 12, 2018.
The Turkish Metal Union had previously declared that they will be on strike on February 2.
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January 23, 2017.
During group collective bargaining negotiations in GE Grid Solutions, ABB Electricity, Schneider Electricity and Schneider Energy workplace, we couldn’t reach to an agreement. As a result of this, on 20th of January, 2200 Birleşik Metal İş members started our “Metal Strike” with full participation and with great enthusiasm. After we started our strike in the same day, in the mid-day, Government postponed our strike for 60 days.
Metal workers very well know what this strike postponements means. This is not a postponement but it is a prohibition. Since 2002, right to strike of tens of thousands of workers in Glass, Plastics and Mining sectors were taken from them by Government.
Metal workers also experienced Government‘s strike prohibitions themselves many times. In 2015, strike of thousands of metalworkers against MESS (Metal Employers’ Union) were postponed by Government. On 18th of January 2017, Strike in Asil Çelik steel mill was prohibited too.
Right to strike is a basic right which has hsitory of hundreds of years and it is protected by both Constitution and universal rights. By taking right to strike from our hands, it means right to have a free collective bargaining has been taken from our hands too. Right to collective bargaining without strike “doesn’t mean anything”.
Government who turned strike prohibitions into a habit since they took power, is now taking our right to collective bargaining by prohibiting our strike and they simply tell us that “you have to accept whatever employers gives to you”. This means to deem poverty proper for hard working workers.
As metalworkers, we don’t recognize Government’s decision which protects only bosses and employers, which doesn’t take care of workers’ hard work, which takes workers’ right to strike from their hands, which prohibits usage of a Constitutional right.
We are, as Birleşik Metal İş member workers, as we declared before, we don’t submit to Government’s prohibition of strike. We will defend the right to collective bargaining with right to strike which was earned by working class with hard prices in the history and we are turning our workplaces in to the venue of actions.
We don’t take this decision only for workers who are working for workplaces member to the EMIS (Electromechanical Employers’ Union) but we take decision on behalf of all the workers whose right to strike is taken by their hands regularly. Our actions are also warning actions against the Government who uses strike prohibitions as “Sword of Damocles” on workers’ right to collective bargaining , who uses state of emergency as an obstacle to use democratic rights, who brings police and water cannons in front of the workers in every small demand for basic rights.
Metalworkers who wrote history many times in the past with their struggle, will once again go on another struggle with great determination which will change the history again. This struggle is against bosses who doesn’t give our hard work’s right and against strike prohibitions of the Government who considers employer’s demands as an order.
Our struggle will continue until a collective bargaining agreement according to our members’ demands will be signed with EMIS.
We invite all the friends of working class to support this just struggle.
BİRLEŞİK METAL-İŞ UNION Executive Board