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Turkey: Reinstate union members at SF Trade Leather!
Respect trade union rights now!
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An important workers' struggle is taking place in Turkey at SF Trade Leather and solidarity is urgently needed.
It is a production factory for international brands such as Molift, Odder, R-mer, Liko, Babybj-rn, Volkswagen, Mulberry, Audi and Mercedes, operating in Gaziemir İzmir.
In 2015 SF Trade Leather suspended 14 workers for being trade union members. Strike action took place against the sackings and a campaign both locally and internationally for the reinstatement of the suspended workers.
Campaigns and protests in front of international brands such as Mulberry, supported by UK trade unions and campaign groups, resulted in the opening of negotiations between SF Trade Leather management and the Deriteks Union.
As a result of the negotiations, SF Trade Leather accepted the right of trade union membership within the workplace and a protocol was signed stating that mutual dialogue would improve. With this agreement in place the union decided to continue its membership campaign.
Last summer Deriteks Union started to speak to and interview SF workers and noticed that harassment and bullying behaviour was still an issue. A workplace organisation committee was formed by the unionised workers.
Soon after the initiation of this committee, lead workers and Deriteks Union members Ayse and Pinar were sacked from their jobs with immediate effect. Both workers were targeted with what they say are trumped up charges and accusations of "not performing" well.
During the managers' conversation with Ayse and Pinar, their involvement with the union was mentioned and they were told they were making the "wrong decisions" in their careers.
They were also accused of bringing the factory into disrepute and endangering other workers' jobs with their actions.
In addition to these two workers, two more women workers who are members of Deriteks Union, Nurcan K-ksal and Sevcan Gulboy were also sacked with immediate effect.
The four sacked workers were simply exercising their right to join a union, which is supposed to be protected under Turkey's constitution.
Their struggle and determination to get their jobs back has been a symbol of resistance in the Gaziemir zone of Izmir which is home to many leather factories.
The four women workers have now been on strike for more than 100 days with the support of the Deriteks Union. They continue to fight for their jobs and the right to trade union membership.
A manufacturing company which is producing goods for many well-known international brands is in violation of international rules and workers' rights.
The workers are calling for:
- Reinstatement of all sacked workers with immediate affect.
- Trade union recognition and the right to organise within the workplace.
- An end to harassment and bullying behaviour by the SF Trade Leather management.
Please support this campaign by contacting SF Trade Leather at:
Phone: +90 232 251 75 09
Fax: +90 232 252 25 15
General Manager: +90 549 732 29 09
Please send all messages to the attention of Mr Frederic W.C.Giraud (Owner of SF Trade Leather)
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