US packaging firm Greif ‘plans’ to close Turkish division after workers’ occupation
DHA PhotoU.S. industrial packaging company Grief is planning to shut down its burlap sack plant in Turkey after it was hit by a workers’ strike that caused $13 million in losses for the company, according to reports.
“The communist workers that went in there made such demands that we were not able to continue with that facility, even though we would have liked to continue with that facility, as it’s a major cog in the wheel of our production,” said David B. Fischer, president and chief executive officer of the company, according to U.S. daily Columbus Dispatch.
Hundreds of workers had occupied the company’s plant in Istanbul’s Hadımköy in February, but the employer refused to accept their demands, which included higher wages, better working conditions and the end to subcontractor system that undermines labor standards.
After 60 days of occupation, the protest was ended in a raid launched by the Turkish police on April 10, but the company said the stoppage of production for two months at the plant took a great toll on the company’s financial balances.
“Our paper packaging segment achieved record second-quarter operating profit; however, our quarterly results were adversely impacted by a prolonged, illegal occupation at the Hadımköy flexible products manufacturing facility and severe weather-related conditions that significantly affected two of our business segments,” the company said in a statement released on June 4 to announce second-quarter results.
The incidents “resulted in higher costs incurred to find alternative supply sources to satisfy customers and idle facility costs.”