14 November 2012 – Verdi representatives on the DHL picketline in Turkey
A delegation from a German ITF-affiliated union has travelled more than 2, 000 kilometres to Turkey to visit sacked DHL workers on their picketline.
The Verdi delegation visit to Turkey on 6 November was prompted by the fact that the dismissal of 30 DHL workers in Turkey for their trade union involvement is tolerated at company headquarters in Bonn, Germany.
Kenan Öztürk, president of the union backing the workers Türkiye Motorlu Tasit Isçileri Sendikasi, confirmed this as he recalled: “When I talked to the chief human resources officer of DHL in Turkey Riza Balta, he told me that Bonn, the parent company Deutsche Post DHL, did not want a union at DHL in Turkey and that he would stick to this requirement.”
In a solidarity message from the five-member delegation to the picketline in Esenyurt, Verdi expressed its support for the protesting workers. Stefan Teuscher who is responsible for collective bargaining at the union told the workers that Verdi would not allow DHL to manage its Turkish branch through fear and intimidation. “DHL needs to work together with the union like it does in Germany and sign a collective agreement, ” he said.
The Verdi delegation visit coincided with support from the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the ITF’s European arm, and the European Parliament Socialists and Democrats group when Eduardo Chagas, ETF general secretary and Evelyn Regner, Austrian member of the European Parliament also joined the picketline. Regner stated that the European Parliament was behind the workers and that collective bargaining and freedom of association across Europe were being closely monitored. Meanwhile Chagas said that millions of workers in transport both in Europe and the rest of the world were supporting the workers.