Turkey's textile workers’ strike ends with deal

Turkey's textile workers’ strike ends with deal

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkeys textile workers’ strike ends with deal

Some 12,000 textile workers went on strike in August, and the strike ended with deal on Aug 23. AA photo

A strike by Turkish textile workers has ended following the signing of a collective labor agreement that reportedly answered all the demands of the workers’ union.

The Teksif Union, which represents textile, clothing and apparel workers, and Altınyıldız Mensucat Turkey Textile Industry Employers’ Union reached an agreement on Aug. 23 that put an end to the strike and lock-out decisions. Altınyıldız made an announcement to the Public Disclosure Platform yesterday while Teksif declared the agreement on its official website.

The union and the employers launched the collective bargaining process in April, but the process hit a deadlock at the end of June. Some 12,000 textile workers went on strike in August, affecting around 30 major textile and clothing producers, including Vakko, Söktas, Yünsa and Saray Halı.

The union and the employers signed a three-year collective agreement, Adnan Ateş, Teksif’s director of collective agreement, said in a telephone interview with the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “We had four main demands about bonuses, overtime pay, a seniority wage rise and a salary rise,” he said.

According to the agreement, bonuses will return to the previous level of a 120-day salary instead of the current 72. Ateş said 70 percent of the workers have been receiving bonuses from the 72-day salary and 30 percent from the 120-day salary since 2004. The new agreement enables all workers to receive bonuses from a 120-day salary, he said.

Workers who work overtime on weekdays, general holidays, national holidays and regional holidays will receive double pay, Ateş said.

“Each worker will receive a seniority wage rise. The agreement says an additional payment will be paid to the workers regarding their work duration. For instance, as every year adds seven liras, a worker that has been working for 10 years will receive 70 liras additional to his or her wage,” he said.

“Workers will receive a 5 percent rise on salaries in the first six months, 3 percent in the second, 3 percent in the third, 4 percent in the fourth, 3 percent in the fifth and 4 percent in the sixth,” he said, but added that if the inflation rate surpasses these rates after the first year of the agreement, additional payments will also be paid to the workers.

Social assistance payments will also rise in parallel with the rise in wages, according to the agreement.