Car manufacturer Tofaş halts production amid growing labor strike in ‘Turkey’s Detroit’
AA PhotoTurkish carmaker Tofaş has halted production at its plant in the northwestern city of Bursa, it stated on May 18, as a labor protest over working conditions widened across the auto industry.
The company added that it did not expect the stoppage to affect sales.
Workers began the protest late on May 14 in Bursa, popularly known as “Turkey’s Detroit” as it is the center of car manufacturing in the country, at Turkey’s biggest car factory. The factory is run by Oyak Renault, a joint venture between France’s Renault and the Turkish army pension fund Oyak.
The Renault workers, complaining about low wages and saying their grievances had gone ignored for a month, said a similar factory had raised its workers’ wages by 60 percent and they also wanted improved wage conditions.
This strike then spread to the Tofaş plant in Bursa on May 15.
Tofaş builds Fiat’s Linea car and Doblo van, among others. It produced 240,000 vehicles in 2013, according to its website.
Oyak Renault produced about 318,000 cars last year, industry association figures show, accounting for more than 43 percent of Turkey’s total car market.