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Petrol-İş gets lobs back for Turkish activists at Auto-Parts Supplier Faurecia

ICEM affiliate Petrol-İş, the Petroleum, Chemical, and Rubber Workers’ Union of Turkey, used manifestations and ICEM intervention to win reinstatement for 11 union activists at a plastics factory in Orhangazi, Bursa province. The factory is owned by French-based auto-parts supplier Faurecia.

A month after the successful conclusion of renewal negotiations between Petrol-İş and the company, talks underscored by the fact that auto exterior parts-maker Faurecia Polifleks Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. would be expanding and adding 50 new workers, local management on 23 July sacked the 11 union activists, including two local branch leaders and a shop steward. No reason was given for the firings.

Petrol-İş reported that the hostile actions easily escalated tensions inside a factory employing 306 in Turkey’s automotive manufacturing hub. On 27 July, ICEM General Secretary Manfred Warda intervened, and in a letter to Faurecia Chairman and CEO Yann Delabriere, said:

“The ICEM understands that an enterprise collective agreement was concluded between Petrol-İş and Faurecia Polifleks Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. on 21 June 2010. But just after signing the agreement, management immediately dismissed 11 trade union members of Petrol-İş, including the chief trade union representative and two local branch officers. The ICEM considers this egregious discrimination against workers who practice legitimate trade union rights. Further, this is a flagrant violation of international-recognised labour standards.”

At the front of the factory, scores of Petrol-İş members took up protests, while talks between the union’s executive members and managers started to address the discharges. Finally, on 29 July, the talks ended in a “mutual framework of goodwill,” according to Petrol-İş, and local mangers agreed to reinstate the union leaders.

“In this process,” said Petrol-İş General Secretary Mustafa Çavdar, “international support and solidarity provided by the ICEM contributed to solve the conflict. Many thanks to the ICEM for its valuable contributions.” Petrol-İş has had a collective bargaining relationship with the company dating back to 1985.

Faurecia operates some 190 factories in 30 countries, producing car seats, auto-exhaust systems, vehicle interior and door modules, and exterior parts. PSA Peugeot Citroën controls 57% of Faurecia’s stock, while One Equity Partners – a private equity company from which Faurecia recently bought US-based auto-exhaust factories – holds a 17% share. (9 August 2010)
 

 

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