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Turkish Lastik-İş re-elects Abdullah Karacan president

Delegates to the 26th Congress of ICEM Turkish affiliate Lastik-İş, the Rubber, Chemical, Petroleum Workers’ Union belonging to DISK national labour centre, unanimously re-elected Abdullah Karacan as President for the upcoming four-year period. The Congress was held from 18-19 June in Istanbul, with 300 delegates and 150 guests attending, including ICEM Director of Industry and Corporate Affairs Kemal Özkan and European Mine, Chemical, Energy Federation (EMCEF) Political Secretary Sylvain Lefebvre.

The Congress also welcomed two prominent ex-officials of DISK, former President Süleyman Çelebi and former General Secretary Musa Çam, who were elected to the Turkey National Assembly as deputies during recent 12 June general elections.

The Congress opened with a 40-minute documentary on 62-year-old Lastik-İş and then discussion occurred on activities of the union over the last four years with the challenges and successes.

Lastik-İş Executive Committee, from left, Muharrem Özen, Alaaddin Sarı, Abdullah Karacan, İhsan Malkoç, Nejdet Ulusoy

“The Turkish trade union movement has been facing very difficult changes in terms of trade union rights and freedoms and as a result, the number of workers covered by collective agreements has dropped below 700,000 across the entire country,” said Karacan in his opening address. “Turkey does not deserve this picture and we need to reverse the trend.”

Abdullah Karacan added, “According to the international statistics, Turkey, together with Mexico and Chile, are the top countries globally where income equality is the worst.”

Turkey’s poor record on health and safety was also underscored, with statistics revealing that three workers are killed on average each day in work-related accidents. Lastik-İş delegates also voiced their intense struggle to limit precarious employment which shows a rising trend. The Congress applauded the Executive Committee with its performance in recruiting new members in existing and new plants, some of which are multinational companies such as Henkel from Germany, KCC from South Korea, as well as financial management and the performance of the union with new projects establishing social facilities that serve union members. The delegates also announced strong support for creation of new industrial union federations at global and European levels.

At the end of the Congress, the new Executive Committee was introduced following re-election of President Karacan. The Executive is composed of Alaaddin Sarı, General Secretary; Nejdet Ulusoy, Head of Education, Press, Publication and Legal Affairs; Muharrem Özen, Head of Collective Bargaining and Organizing; and İhsan Malkoç, Head of Financial Affairs. (20 June 2011)
 

 

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