Where Has The Strike of Metal Workers Come To?

The strike action wave which thousands of workers in Renault’s Bursa facility on the night of 14th May started by halting production with the demand of wage improvement has transformed into a struggle of the right to say, authorization and decision against deception that has been going on for decades.

Although the suppression of capitalists in factories where strike took place has created some consequences, metal workers gained a self-confidence during this process.

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In many factories, during negotiations between factory managements and representatives of workers they have chosen, the demand of wage improvement has been accepted; however there are also news that in some factories bosses have started to attack for revenge of this strike. The workers who were in the front lines of the struggle in Türk Traktör’s Ankara facility have been fired by the boss. Likewise, in Gölcük facility of Ford Otosan, after re-production started, some workers have been fired. Thousands of workers have carried out a short strike actions for their friends who were fired, however in these two factories those who were fired are still not re-employed. On the contrary on 8th June, in Renault facility, the workers halted production once more as they realized one of their friends was fired and his job-card is not working. As their strike started, at night the management was forced to re-employ this worker. Renault workers had forced the management the same way before on 5th May to re-employ their friends who were fired.

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Likewise, workers of Tofaş have also halted production once more on 9th June because two of the workers have been fired. However, due to the Çelik-İş (Trade Union in Steel, Iron, Metal and Auto Industry that is a member of The Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions – Hak İş. They are now trying to get membership from these factories.) acted in collaboration with the management as always and have convinced workers to stop the strike and offered jobs at the union to workers who were fired and the strike was over without any gains.

Meanwhile, the workers of ORS located in Ankara, have also halted production on 8th June to force the factory management recognise their representatives. It should be highlighted that, instead of wage improvement demand, ORS workers demand to choose their own representatives and to be recognised. Their demands (no worker will be fired, no complaints will be made against workers due to this strike, the Turk Metal shall leave the factory, the workers will be choosing their own representatives, there will be an improvement in wages in accordance with other factories) were all met by the factory management and they have stopped strike.

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Although the majority of strikes in factories are over, in the west of the country in Trakya region, metal workers continue to resign from the Turk Metal (Turkish Metal Workers’ Union) in factories like Trakya Döküm, B/S/H, Arçelik, etc. Also there is a huge displeasure in workers in factories located in İzmir in the Aegean region and workers continue to resign from the union

 

Metal workers plan to create their own union
This process started with collective resignments from the Turk Metal which is in a deep collaboration with boss’ union the MESS (Employers’ Association of Metal Industries) has become a target for trade unions which are organized in this sector in different confederations. These trade unions which were in no place of this process started to make some of these workers in different factories a member to their unions [i.e. Çelik-İş (Trade Union in Steel, Iron, Metal and Auto Industry that is a member of The Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions – Hak İş) in Tofaş and Birleşik Metal-İş (United Metal Workers’ Union) that is a member of the DİSK (The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey) in Ford Otosan]. For example both of these trade unions claim that they are organizing in Ford Otosan. Workers of Enpay located in Kocaeli have become members of the Birleşik Metal-İş. Although memberships are carried out in these factories, legally the Turk Metal has the authorization in factories until 2017. This means, solely new membership to these trade unions does not mean anything. During the process the workers will be able to do whatever needed via their own organization, workplace committees and by strengthening their councils.

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Workers have gained an important experience towards self determination with their great resistance. On the 7th of June some worker representatives have organized a meeting in Bursa and decided to create a new union in which they will have the right to say, authorization and decision. Workers from various factories including Renault, Tofaş, Ford Otosan, Delphi, Coşkunöz want that in this new union they will be establishing instead of bureaucracy, full workers’ power will be.