Workers go on strike in Renault’s Turkey factory, production stops
DHA PhotoAround 5,000 workers at Oyak Renault’s factory in the northwestern province of Bursa halted production activities during their midnight shift on May 14 and have refused to return to work since, Doğan News Agency reported.
On the morning of May 15, over 1,500 workers who usually work the following 12-8 A.M. shift did not clock in and, instead, went on strike in the factory’s courtyard, demanding a wage increase.
The Renault workers, who complained about their low wages, demanded that a factory executive show up and deliver a statement, as their grievances went ignored for a month. The workers shouted slogans against the management and Metal Workers Trade Union of Turkey (Türk Metal), from which they have resigned.
The workers said a similar factory had raised its workers’ wages by 60 percent and that they too wanted better wage conditions.
A labor agreement was signed for the 2014-2017 period between Türk Metal and the employer’s union, Turkey’s Metal Industrialists Union (MESS), eight months ago. Nonetheless, the Oyak Renault workers asked for improvement in their conditions, adding that conditions for the workers of Bosch’s brake system factory, where Türk Metal is also in charge of, are much better. The labor agreement at the Bosch factory was renewed in December 2015.
The Renault factory in Bursa normally produces nearly 400 cars each shift.
Türk Metal’s head Pevrul Kavlak told Reuters that the agreement with Bosch stipulates much better conditions.
“After the conditions of that agreement had been announced, the Oyak Renault workers started to react. The unit wages in Bosch, however, are still lower than the wages in Renault…We signed the two agreements. The unit wage is 9.46 liras at Bosch, while it is 9.83 liras at Renault,” he said.