The ITF is also asking its affiliates to back the workers by sending similar messages to the Turkish government.
ITF general secretary Steve Cotton wrote on 8 April to the labour and social security minister and the minister of transportation, maritime affairs and communication. He urged them to intervene urgently to reinstate 51 dismissed workers unconditionally and stop any further intimidation of TÜVTÜRK workers. He also asked them to instruct the management to enter into meaningful dialogue with TÜMTİS without delay, with the aim of concluding collective bargaining agreements in TEM Kocaeli and Osmaniye.
Cotton wrote: “We understand that 51 workers in total at workplaces in Gebze, Köseköy and Osmaniye have been unilaterally dismissed by the management as of today. We understand that local managers claimed that their performance levels had ‘decreased’ or that they ‘had refused overtime’.
“Such unsubstantiated allegations are not a just cause for any dismissal. The management has also replaced these workers by staff from other locations where TÜVTÜRK operates and is also reportedly intimidating other members of the union to withdraw their membership. All these actions seriously contradict ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain, which Turkey has ratified.”
TÜMTİS has a collective bargaining agreement in Adana-Ýçel-Hatay and Ordu-Giresun (ORGÝ), and on 26 December 2014, the ministry of labour certified TÜMTİS as the legitimate trade union organisation to represent TÜVTÜRK workers at TEM Kocaeli and Osmaniye.
The ETF – the ITF’s European arm – has separately written to the TÜVTÜRK management.
On 17 April, ITF inland transport secretary Mac Urata visited the picket line in Köseköy, as the dispute continues, unresolved.