Thousands of Turkish glass workers begin strike over pay
DHA PhotoThousands of workers at Turkey’s largest glass maker company Şişecam have gone on strike after months of collective talks failed to yield an outcome.
Around 5,800 workers from six Şişecam plants walked away from their work on the morning of June 20 when the Kristal-İş Union, which is representing Şişecam employees, and could not come to an agreement on wages for 2014 with the Glass Employers Union.
In a statement released on June 20, the company said the sides had been unable to agree on wage hike ratios that have been going on since the beginning of the year, claiming the company “has done everything to finalize this process expeditiously and with consensus.”
“Despite a constructive approach by our group, which proposed an 11.79 percent wage rise (4.39 points above of 2013 inflation), Kristal-İş Union insisted on its 23.12 percent average demand and announced that it will apply its decision to strike,” the Şişecam statement read.
“These actions, which will adversely affect production and continuity in the glass sector and which contribute greatly to our country’s economy, require a statement.”
It asked all workers and business partners to approach the process with “sensitivity” that acknowledges Şişecam as “one of the top glass producers of the world.”
The union took the decision to walkout on May 28 as its demands for higher wages, salary upgrades for low-wage workers and a starting rate were not met by the employer.
The strike will affect Şişecam subsidiaries’ factories in six provinces across the country.
The plants to be affected by the strike are Trakya Cam’s production plants in Thrace and Mersin, Trakya Yenişehir Cam’s plant in the northwestern province of Bursa, Paşabahçe’s three factories in Kırklareli, Eskişehir and Mersin, and Cam Elyaf’s fiberglass plant in Kocaeli.