Since the end of April a militant movement of metal workers in the car industry in Turkey has been developing, with its epicentre in Bursa. Workers are fighting for better wages and conditions and for democratic trade union representation.
The precedent for this movement was the deal reached by workers at the Bosch factory at the end of 2014. Through strike action and by clashing with the leadership of the Türk Metal they won higher wages than those signed in the national metal workers agreement.
The current movement started in Bursa on April 14 when workers at auto-parts factories demanded the same contract as Bosch workers and threatened with mass resignations from Türk Metal if the union did not agree to represent them.
Workers at the Renault plan led the movement which then spread to other engineering plants and factories which work for Renault, including Coşkunöz, Mako and others. On April 26 there was the first massive protest in Bursa city centre.
The main demands of the workers are:
- Our agreement should be re-signed on the basis of Bosch agreement
- We want to choose our representative democratically by ourselves
- We want assurance that in case we resign from the union, we shouldn’t be fired from our factories
- Turk Metal should leave factories immediately
On May 5th thousands of workers gathered to implement their decision to collectively resign from Türk Metal. A group of thugs from the Türk Metal bureaucracy attacked them with iron rods. This attack further radicalised the workers and spread the movement even more. Workers at Tofaş, which manufactures cars for Fiat, Citroen, Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall, joined the movement and so did others at Delphi, Valeo, Arçelik, Farba, DJC and other plants.
Faced with the workers’ anger Renault retreated, trying to win some time. It promised that there would be no dismissals and asked for 15 days to discuss the possibility of wage increases. On May 14 it became clear that the company had no intention of giving in and the workers walked out on strike.
The movement has been organised outside of the union through democratic structures, including an initiative called Metal Workers’ Solidarity and the election of an Inter-Factory Council.
This week the strike movement has continued to spread with workers at the Ford Otosan factory in Izmit also walking out today, May 20.
We publish here a selection of videos which show the mass character of the movement and the very militant mood of defiance of the workers.
[More information on the background and development of the movement here: The Wind of Metal Workers Rises]
Mako workers, May 18
MAKO'da da "ÖLMEK VAR DÖNMEK YOK"Çizgilerimiz net ;Hiçbir arkadaşımız işten atılmayacakbosch sözleşmesinde ki zam alınacak iki yıllık imzalanacaksendika ve temsilci seçimiminde işçiler kendi kararlarını verecekler.Posted by Metal İşçilerinin Sesi on Monday, 18 May 2015
Renault workers, May 18
Mako workers, May 20
Mako İşçilerinden Baskıya Cevap "DİRENİŞ"Posted by Metal İşçilerinin Sesi on Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Direnişin 2.gününden bir video: Direne direne kazanacağız!#metalişçileridireniyor Metalİşçisinin SesiPosted by Metal İşçisinin Sesi on Monday, 18 May 2015
Renault workers, May 20
Posted by R-M Renault Metalis on Wednesday, 20 May 2015
OTOTRİM'DE SABAH!Posted by Metal İşçilerinin Sesi on Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Kocaeli Ford Otosan, May 20
#Kocaeli #Ford #Otosan işçisinin sesini duyun... Burası tribün değil, Ford Otasan'ın önünde bugün...Posted by Metal İşçilerinin Sesi on Wednesday, 20 May 2015